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July 2023 White Paper Recap: Halfway Point Review & Quarterly Index

by 
Shira Petrack
 on 
August 1, 2023
July 2023 White Paper Recap:  Halfway Point Review & Quarterly Index

Rough Beginning Makes Way For Optimism

The Q2 2023 Quarterly Index indicates that the retail slow-down of the second half of Q1 2023 largely continued in April and May, with foot traffic to many categories down relative to 2022 levels. But visit trends began showing improvement towards the end of Q2 2023 – and even during the lull of April and May, some categories managed to pull ahead. Visits to the Fitness and Car Wash sectors in Q2 2023 saw a 19.3% and 18.5% increase in visits, respectively, relative to the same period in 2022. Year-over-year (YoY)  visits to Discount & Dollar Stores also rose as consumers looked for ways to stretch their budgets. Foot traffic to the Grocery category remained steady, and the Dining sector also performed surprisingly well – perhaps thanks to some consumers shifting their spending away from physical goods and towards services.

Meanwhile, YoY quarterly visits for Superstores fell by 2.4% as many shoppers cut down on discretionary spending to focus on essentials. Foot traffic to Malls, with their focus on discretionary items, also dipped 2.7%. But with Back to School season in August and Labor Day deals in September and September –  the coming months may well bring a significant retail turnaround. 

The Retail at the Halfway Point of 2023 dives deeper into trends that shaped retail in the first half of 2023, including the Fitness categories’ strength. In addition to seeing visit growth, many chains, including LA Fitness, 24 Fitness, and EōS Fitness also saw increased visit frequency and median dwell time – showing that the category’s success since early 2022 is not just a flash in the pan. 

In addition to the renewed social appeal of returning to the gym after a pandemic hiatus, gym-goers in H1 2023 likely viewed their fitness hobby as a budget-friendly pastime in light of the current inflationary climate. Since most gym memberships grant unlimited access to the facilities, an additional workout or extended visit to the steam room allows fitness consumers to spend time out of the house without breaking the bank.

To read the full Retail at the Halfway Point of 2023 and Q2 2023 Quarterly Index white papers and keep up on our latest research, visit placer.ai/library

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