Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a Placer.ai account? Log In

January's Early 'Returns'

by 
Ethan Chernofsky
 on 
January 19, 2022
January's Early 'Returns'

The holiday season was impacted by declines in Black Friday visits and a push for an extended holiday retail season. Yet, with Omicron raging, it was difficult to understand which declines were defined by potentially permanent shifts to holiday shopping behavior and which were a direct result of COVID.

While the role of rapidly rising cases is critical to understanding retail performance over recent months, the extended season concept indicates that we might see stronger visit metrics in the post-holiday period than we would normally expect.

And, indeed, visits have been better.

Retail Performance Post-Christmas

Looking at the average weekly visits compared to the equivalent weeks in 2019 and 2020 shows that the last two weeks performed far better than the six weeks prior. While Walmart visits were almost directly in line when comparing the two periods, Target saw a significantly better performance. 

However, two bigger standouts were Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods. In the last two weeks Best Buy saw visits up 6.9% compared to the same weeks in 2019 and 2020, while visits were down just over 14% in the 6 weeks prior. For Dick’s Sporting Goods, the shift was from down 0.8% to up over 13%. While the effects of COVID could still be playing a significant role, the takeaway is clear. The shift in behaviors during the holiday season seem to have given an added boost to post-holiday shopping, with a likely heavy influence from returned items.

And it wasn’t just these major retailers that saw the shift. Kohl’s and Macy’s saw their visit gaps shrink by nearly 7% and 6% respectively, while Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and our Luxury Index, which tracks over 100 luxury retail stores throughout the United States, all saw significant gains compared to the same period in 2019/20.

Why Does This Matter?

The impact of the extended holiday season was the single most important takeaway from retail’s final months of 2021. Retailers were able to effectively communicate a challenge and incentivize visits to help overcome a significant array of obstacles including supply chain issues, labor shortages, and COVID. The result was a far better brick and mortar performance for many retailers than might have been otherwise expected. 

Critically, these shifts in behavior appear to have long lasting ramifications. The return period is giving retailers a boost to kick off the year, offering an opportunity to further offset any challenges faced during the pandemic. However, the bigger lesson centers around the ability to engage with customers to drive visits during off-peak periods. The more retailers embrace this approach, the more they will be able to offset challenges – COVID related or not.

Will January continue to drive retail visits? Visit Placer.ai 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 Placer.ai Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Trends
A Location Intelligence Perspective on Macy’s Rightsizing
Amazon-Powered Shopping: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?
Cold Weather, Hot Visits: Diving into Winter Resorts
Wawa and 7-Eleven: Leaning Into the “Slurpee Effect”
2022 and Beyond: Catching Up With McDonald’s & Chipotle
Let’s Have Some Fun! Going Out Is In
Placer.ai’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index
Placer.ai Adds Industry Executives to Leadership Team To Drive Company's Next Phase of Growth
5 Emerging Retail Formats: 2023’s Brick-and-Mortar Evolution
Grocery Update: Zooming in on the Lone Star State
2022 Office Recap: The Year of the TGIF Work Week
What Lies Ahead for Brick-and-Mortar Luxury in 2023
Placer.ai Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
Looking Back on 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
Post-Pandemic Migration Trends in New York
Top Retailers for 2023
The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity
Domestic Migration to the Mountain States: Small Shifts with Big Implications
New Year, New Food: 5 Dining Trends For 2023
Announcing Placer.ai’s COVID RECOVERY DASHBOARD
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap
The San Francisco Shift
Grocery Year-End Update: Publix in the Spotlight
Three Ways Retailers Can Think Small to Increase Store Impact
Offline Beauty Is on an Upswing
The Evolving Migration Patterns of New York’s Florida Snowbirds
Placer.ai Office Index: November 2022 Recap
How Viral Social Media Trends Can Drive Offline Engagement
Are You Ready for Some Football? Experiential Marketing Shows Promise
Mall and Shopping Center Trends For 2023
Retail Corridors and Indoor Malls: A Holiday Head-to-Head
Placer Bytes: Nike, lululemon, and GameStop Update
Placer.ai Mall Indexes: November 2022 Update
Black Friday 2022: Consumers Hear the Call
Digitally Native Brands: Taking Off, Offline
Discount and Dollar Stores Leading the Pack
Turkey Wednesday 2022
Retail’s Evolving Holiday Season
Placer Bytes: Starbucks and Department Stores Ahead of Black Friday
Ulta: A Force to be Reckoned With
College Towns Drive Dining Growth
Foot Traffic Trends Reveal Consumers Ready for Holiday Cheer
How Retailers Can Win Big By Going Small
How Are Consumers Feeling Ahead of Black Friday 2022?
Off-Price, Hibbett, and Dick’s Pre-Holiday Check-in
Ho, Ho, Wholesale: Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s
October 2022’s Retail Rebound
Target and Walmart Ahead of the Holidays
Home Improvement: Leave it to the Pros
Despite Inflation, Holiday Season is Off to a Good Start
Placer.ai Office Index: October 2022 Recap
Placer.ai Mall Indexes- October 2022 Update
Americans Double Down on Fitness
The State of Grocery
CVS and Walgreens: The Wave Continues
Coffee Chains Brewing Up Visits
Placer.ai Spotlight: Pizza Players
What Drove COVID-Era Urban Migration Trends?
Kroger and Albertsons: A Merging of Strengths
Texas Roadhouse Innovations Dishing Up Success
Holidays on the Horizon: Mid-Range and Luxury Shopping
McDonald's and Chipotle's Post-Pandemic Success
Announcing Placer.ai’s Q3 2022 Quarterly Index
5 Hot Restaurant Brands for 2023
Target Finds a Winning Deals Day Formula
Five Trends to Watch for 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
September 2022 Analysis: A Difficult Month and Time for Optimism
Inflation’s Retail Winners
Five Apparel Retailers to Watch Ahead of the Holidays
Placer.ai Spotlight: Wawa’s QSR Pivot
Placer.ai Mall Indexes: September 2022 Recap
Placer.ai Office Indexes: September 2022 Recap
The Impact of Population Growth on Commercial Real Estate 
Starbucks' New Makeover
There's Somethin' About Pumpkin
Expanding Offline Reach
Breakfast Restaurants are Rising in Popularity
The Power of Labor Day 2022
Tourism in Miami Heating Up
Citi Trends on the Rise
Reaching Rural Consumers Through Retail Media Network
Darden Restaurants Cooking Up Success
The Home Improvement Sector: A Sign of Consumer Confidence
QSR Is Having a Northeastern Growth Spurt
Domestic Migration’s Ripple Effects
A Look Back at Back To School 2022
Kroger Digital Tell-All
The Return of In-Person Networking
The Reinvention of the American Mall  
Placer.ai Office Building Indexes: August 2022 Recap 
Placer.ai Mall Indexes - August 2022 Recap
Five Below’s Back to School Success
Plus-Size Fashion’s Staying Power
Placer Bytes: Best Buy & GameStop 
Petco Barking Up the Right Tree
Lipstick Effect Boosts Ulta’s Growth