Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Satellites Show Mall Traffic Surge in November

Despite the SEC's apparent absurd harassment of firms seeking an edge by gathering information, such information makes the markets more efficient. Beginning and end of story.

The latest technique to gain an edge is to use satellite images. By using these images, investors can make better informed decisions and direct capital investments in a more informed direction.

Barron's explains how mall traffic is now tracked:
Mall traffic for November 2010 has shown a steep rise recently, according to a report released today by Thomson Reuters. Using satellite images the firm is able to measure parking lot traffic, which correlates well with same-store sales.

Based on this relationship, we may be seeing an early sign that stronger November 2010 mall traffic is pointing to stronger same-store sales,” wrote Thomson Reuters analyst Jharonne Martis-Olivo in the report. At 3.5%, the Thomson Reuters Same-Store Sales Index for November is significantly stronger than the 0.5% in November 2009 and the -7.8% for November 2008.

"Retailers seldom release average ticket prices, but the CPI was flat as of the Nov. 17, 2010 reading,” Martis-Olivo wrote. “Thus, if November mall parking lot traffic has been on the rise, while inflation remains unchanged, then there’s a pretty good chance that shopper conversion rates could be higher this year.”

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