Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Walmart, Target and Chipotle's Earnings and Why They Matter

Ethan Chernofsky
November 7, 2019
Walmart, Target and Chipotle's Earnings and Why They Matter

Concerns abound about both the Fast Casual industry and the wider retail space, yet many brands are clearly bucking the trend. Few though are doing so with the same gusto as Chipotle in the food space and Walmart and Target in retail.

We dove into their Q3 performance to get a better sense of their respective trajectories.

Big Growth in the Retail Apocalypse

Walmart (WMT) is the dominant force in offline retail with visit numbers that are significantly higher than competitors. But, if there is such a company that can pose a threat to this hold, Target (TGT) is one of the few brands that possess the reach and focus necessary to challenge.

We analyzed both brands Q3 visit performance to see how they stacked up.

Target’s Q3 (July-September) was incredibly strong, with two major jumps in July and August, before a decline in September that reflected a more general and industry-wide visit decrease. July 2019 traffic was 10.9% above the baseline for the period, before rocketing to 25.2% above in August and then finally falling to 11.2% below in September. The July and August numbers were significantly higher than the 2.7% and 9.5% increases seen in July and August of 2018 or the -0.9% and 5.3% numbers from those same months in 2017. We noticed the trend early in the Back-to-School season, and the numbers continued to impress throughout the summer. And even the September drop was less significant than for other brands, giving further validation to many of the key decisions and innovations that Target has rolled out. 

Walmart’s situation was very similar, with the major difference coming in there fiscal calendar positioning the most recent quarter as the period from August through October. As with Target, July and August numbers were 10.9% and 13.7% above the baseline, marking huge jumps over the same months in 2018 that produced visits 5.4% and 3.4% above the baseline respectively. Here too, the numbers were also dramatically higher than in 2017 as well. Yet, Walmart’s quarterly will include September and October which were weaker than years past. September was 7.8% below the baseline for the period and October was 5.6% below. These do reflect wider trends from recent years that see decreases during these months, and it is likely that the decline was exacerbated by the unique strength of the 2019 Back-to-School period.

And this leads to a critical takeaway and a critical question for both. On the positive side, the Back-to-School period in 2019 proved a boon for Walmart and Target in driving visits to stores, demonstrating the continued success and appeal of these brands to their target audiences. Yet, it also places an emphasis on the coming holiday season. With the declines in September and October, November and December take on added importance in their potential to buoy or limit what has otherwise been a very strong year.

Chipotle’s Bucks the Fast Casual Trend 

Coming off of a strong start to the year, Chipotle (CMG) saw an equally strong summer. The brand enjoyed Q3 visit growth each month Year-over-Year, with July and August coming in at 11.8% and 11.6% above the baseline for the period from January 2018 through September 2019. This is well above the 1.5% and 1.9% numbers from 2018. Even the annual September dip - 5.6% below the baseline in 2019 - was above the 2018 mark of -8.2%. 

Analyzing estimated visitor numbers on a weekly basis further cements the point, also highlighting how critical Q3 was for the brand, as it represents the strongest period of the year. Chipotle’s rebound seems to be in full effect, a critical success in a period of struggling Fast Causal brands.


What makes both cases interesting is that they go against a negative narrative around their wider sectors. Fast Casual restaurants and mainstream retailers are supposed to be struggling, yet these brands aren’t - they’re thriving. 

How? Dig deeper into the data at to find out.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Black Friday 2023 Retail Recap
Starbucks’ 2023 Holiday Menu & Red Cup Day Performance
Turkey Wednesday 2023
Who Attended the 2023 Pickleball Championship? 
Three Surprising Holiday Shopping Trends
What’s in Store for Ulta Beauty This Holiday Season?
Best Buy and Department Stores: A Holiday Deep Dive
Discount & Dollar Stores: Strength Toward The End of the Year
The State of Off-Price Retail: Discounts Seal The Deal
Placer Mall Index Recap: October 2023 Office Index: October 2023 Recap
Retail Corridors Ahead of the 2023 Holiday Season
California, Here Gap Comes
Checking in With Home Improvement
Getting Into the Glasses Game: Warby Parker Takes Over
Fitness Positioned for a Strong 2023 Finish
White Paper Recap: October 2023
Coffee Giants Brewing Up Business
Popeyes and Burger King Lead the Way
Diving into Yum!
Looking Ahead to Black Friday 2023
Blockbusters Drive Movie Theater Comeback
Crocs and Boot Barn: Shoe-Ins for Success
McDonald’s and Chipotle's Winning Recipe
The State Of Steak: Checking in With Texas Roadhouse
Pleasant Pastimes: Pickleball Potential Proves Potent
Who’s Driving Downtown Manhattan’s Weekend Revival?
Diving into Downtown Manhattan Foot Traffic Trends
Rite Aid: Rightsizing Right
Major League Soccer: Its Die-Hard and Casual Fans
The Anchor Recap: September 2023 Office Index: September 2023 Recap
Placer Mall Index Recap: September 2023
September White Paper Recap
The Consumer Habits of College Students
JCPenney: Rightsizing and Revitalizing
Pent-Up Demand Ahead of October Sales Events
4 Strategies Retailers are Using to Drive Traffic to Their Venues
5 Key Regional Grocery Players Impressing in 2023
Upscale Kitchenware Trending Up
Costco Finds More Room for Growth
Four C-Store Chains Making an A-Grade
National Parks + Outdoor Summer Activities
Diving Into Darden: Summer 2023 Update
The Summer Event Effect
Messi: Massive in Miami
Looking Back on Back to School 2023
The Anchor Recap: August 2023 Office Index: August 2023 Recap Mall Index: August 2023 Recap White Paper Recap: August 2023
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Strikes Again
Big Scoop: We All Scream For Ice Cream
Sports Away: Lululemon & Nike’s Momentum Continues
Summer Visits Heat Up For Recreation and Outdoor Gear Chains
No CSS overwrite - July 2023 Office Index Recap
Staging - August 2023 Mall Indec
Mid-Atlantic Grocery Deep Dive
Experiential Chains Heating Up This Summer
Petco Goes Big by Going Small
Ulta Beauty: Leading the Discretionary Pack
Discount and Dollar Chains Continue to Thrive
Summer of Sports: DICK’s Sporting Goods and Hibbett Sports
Off-Price: Succeeding Into Summer
The Anchor Recap: July 2023
Superstores Maintaining Pandemic Gains Amidst Economic Headwinds
2023: Home Improvement at the Halfway Point
July 2023 Office Index Recap Mall Index: July 2023 Recap
The Taylor Swift Visit Lift
Southwestern Grocery Dive
July 2023 White Paper Recap: Halfway Point Review & Quarterly Index
Yum! Brands: Driving Dining Visits
Slurpees and Summer Movies Stimulate Consumer Foot Traffic
Cool Beans: Summer Coffee Update
Checking In on Back to School 2023
Crocs and New Balance Tip The Scales
Burger Bliss: Shake Shack and In-N-Out Stacking Visits
Chipotle & McDonald's Continue to Reign Supreme
Vibenomics and Partner to Enhance Retail Media In-Store Measurement
California Grocers Here We Come!
Marriott’s Different Audiences
Bonchon and Kura Sushi Thrive in the Fast-Casual Scene
A Shoe In: Footwear Climbs to the Top
Cheers! Raising a Glass to Beverage Retail Office Index: June 2023 Recap Mall Index June 2023 Recap – A Turn of the Tide and a Dive into Open-Air Lifestyle Centers
Local Kitchens: Redefining the Restaurant
Unlocking Urban Insights: The Value in Manhattan’s Employees
Ohio State Parks On The Rise
How is Inflation Impacting the High-Income Shoppers?
Five Fast-Growing Dining Chains
What To Expect From Prime Day and July Sales Events in 2023
The State Of Fashion: How Are Apparel Retailers Faring in 2023?
2023’s Latest Dining Success Story: GEN Korean BBQ House
The NBA Finals: A Location Intelligence Perspective
Moving the Market: The Impact of Domestic Migration on Housing Costs
Post-Pandemic Museum Update
The Darden-est Things
The Enduring Demand for Urban and Suburban Retail