More Photos From Fashion's Night Out: A Dunk Tank in Williamsburg, Kenneth Cole's Concert

By Anna Sekula September 14, 2009, 3:12 PM EDT

Carnival games at Bird's Fashion's Night Out block party

Photo: John Minchillo for BizBash

As photos, tweets, blogs, and news articles have shown, Thursday's “Fashion's Night Out” initiative brought a carnival-like atmosphere to hundreds of stores throughout the city. Crowds swarmed Midtown, SoHo, the West Village, and other retail districts for live music, free food, games, and other activities, which as a new report reveals, helped boost sales numbers. On Friday afternoon, Chicago research firm ShopperTrak released data that points to a 36 percent increase in foot traffic in Manhattan shops, compared with the same day last year.

“The overwhelming turnout in Manhattan lifted sales throughout the country, providing some welcome good news for participating retailers in an otherwise difficult 2009,” said ShopperTrak co-founder Bill Martin in a statement. Retail executives also agree that the initiative had a positive impact from just getting customers into the stores. “It was worth doing,” Claudio Del Vecchio, chairman and C.E.O. of Brooks Brothers, told WWD. “We do a lot of events, and we generally don’t get a lot of business from them. It’s more to show people what we do and who we are, rather than sales that night. There is always a certain percent that comes back to shop. The best thing about Fashion’s Night Out is that a lot of people came out and are still looking at shopping in a positive way, even if they didn’t shop.”

Our full coverage of Fashion's Night Out can be found here.

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