Shoppers will spend more during the Christmas holiday period in the US this year, but will visit fewer stores to do so, according to predictions from Shoppertrak.

The analyst said retail sales would rise by 3% in November and December on last year’s figures, but foot traffic would decrease by 2.2%.

The projections, which follow 19 consecutive months of year-on-year growth, fall short of 2010’s 4.1% retail sales increase.

Apparel and accessories sales will go up by 2.7%, Shoppertrak added, but foot traffic will decline by 1.1%.

The company expects consumers to buy a bit more this Christmas season than last year, but warns they are becoming increasingly sensitive to value, possibly forcing lower-end apparel stores to cut prices to compete with discount chains.

During 2011, shoppers have visited an average of 3.1 stores per shopping trip, down from 3.19 in 2010 and well short of the four to five stores visited in early 2008, before the economic collapse of later that year.

“The persistently high unemployment and fuel rates, along with consumers’ conservative purchasing attitudes, will affect spending this holiday season more than in recent years,” said Shoppertrak co-founder Bill Martin.

“Every shopper in a store will be more valuable than last year, and retail stores should be ready to convert their holiday shoppers into sales.”