Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

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

Leveraging Brick-and-Mortar Retail in 2023

by 
Lila Margalit
 on 
April 11, 2023
Leveraging Brick-and-Mortar Retail in 2023

For consumers seeking the cheapest and easiest way to purchase a particular product, e-commerce channels like Amazon can be hard to beat. But even in today’s increasingly digital marketplace, brick-and-mortar retail has an important role to play. People love to shop with friends, to visit stores that excite their imaginations, and to explore new products in person. And retailers that can leverage their physical footprints to strengthen their brand and create memorable spaces that foster a sense of community will remain ahead of the pack.

We dove into the data to explore some of the ways that brick and mortar retailers are creating positive brand associations and successfully driving visits by making their stores great places to shop – and not just to buy. 

  1. DICK’s House of Sport: Calling All Sports Fans

Despite last year’s hit to discretionary spending, quarterly visits to DICK’s Sporting Goods outperformed pre-pandemic levels throughout 2022. And from its perch as a thriving category leader, the company has continued to innovate. In 2021 DICK’s launched its new House of Sport store format, designed to be a community hub for sports fans. The stores feature attractions like climbing walls, golf simulators, batting cages, and outdoor fields – and customers can book a wide variety of in-store services, from baseball glove steaming to individualized coaching sessions. 

And DICK’s “places to connect and play” are drawing the crowds. Between September 2022 and February 2023, DICK’s three House of Sport venues attracted, on average, between 112.7% and 126.6% more visits per venue than the chain did overall. And once shoppers arrived in-store, they tended to stay significantly longer. Given the success of the new format, it should come as no surprise that DICK’s plans to expand the model and open nineteen new House of Sport venues over the next two years.

  1. Buff City Soap: (Bath) Bombs Away!

Buff City Soap is another brand that has stepped into the role of a community hub – turning the simple process of buying soap into a fun experience for the whole family. The chain, which started off in 2014 with just one store, now boasts more than 250 locations nationwide. And while Buff City Soap’s all-natural, handcrafted products can be ordered online, the chain’s physical locations are more than just additional points of sale.

The chain’s venues, designed to be “fun, playful, and interactive,” are built around “makeries,” where people can place customized orders and then hang out and watch them being made from scratch. Shoppers can choose from a wide variety of scents available “on tap” – and while the adults are looking around, the kids can roll up their sleeves and decorate bath bombs. Customers can also schedule kids’ birthday parties and ladies’ nights out at the chain’s stores.

Buff City Soap’s plant-based offerings and accessible pricing strategy are in perfect alignment with today’s wellness- and value-oriented consumer market. And the brand’s exponential visit growth shows just how successful its community-based brick-and-mortar strategy has been. Since Q1 2019, visits to Buff City Soap have increased by more than 2000.0% – largely thanks to the chain’s significant expansion. But foot traffic data also suggests that the average number of visits to each of its venues has also increased, indicating that Buff City Soap has been able to grow its footprint without diluting the performance of its existing stores.

  1. Jungle Jim’s International Market: A Theme Park of Food 

But chains don’t necessarily have to be behemoths – or even to rapidly expand – in order to make the most of their brick-and-mortar presence. Jungle Jim’s International Market, an Ohio-based grocery store with just two locations, is a case in point. 

With its vast selection of specialty food products from around the globe, on-site wine and beer tasting bars, and famously over-the-top, wacky decor, Jungle Jim’s has been dubbed a “theme park of food.” Visitors to its Fairfield, OH location are greeted with a life-size zoo display outside the entrance, and both stores’ gigantic sales floors are decked out with animatronic characters, amusement park memorabilia, and other decorations that cultivate a carnival-like atmosphere. The chain’s unique vibe, extensive product selection, and in-store programing have positioned it both as a popular tourist destination and as a magnet for foodies.

And location intelligence data shows that there’s healthy demand for what Jungle Jim’s has to offer. Both stores experienced notable year-over-three-year foot traffic growth over the past several months, significantly outperforming the wider Ohio grocery sector. 

Comparing Jungle Jim’s International Market to nearby grocery stores also shows how the brand complements the offerings of more traditional supermarkets. Jungle Jim’s Cincinnati location, for example, boasts a much larger trade area and a higher share of weekend visitors than a leading nearby traditional grocery store – perhaps reflecting the chain’s special draw for tourists and others looking for something fun to do on their day off. The traditional grocery store location, on the other hand, has a greater share of loyal visitors, indicating that more of its customers view it as a place to do their regular weekly grocery shopping. But Jungle Jim’s also boasts a significant repeat customer base, showing that it too boasts satisfied shoppers coming back for more.

Key Takeaways

Even for brands that have an online presence, physical stores remain crucial venues for promoting brand awareness, facilitating product discovery, and more. And retailers that can draw crowds by appealing to shoppers’ sense of adventure and longing for social connection will be poised for success in 2023.

For more data-driven retail insights, visit Placer.ai.

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.
Text Link
Dick's
Text Link
Buff City Soaps
Text Link
Jungle Jim’s International Market
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below: Q1 2024 Treasure Troves
CAVA Still Going Strong
Driving Success: Auto Parts Chains in 2024
Checking in With DICK’S Sporting Goods
Mother’s Day Shopping and Dining Trends
Placer.ai Mall Index: April 2024 Recap – Retail Resilience Heading into Spring
Dollar Stores Still Gaining Momentum
Off-Price Apparel Chains After Q1 2024: Demographics in the Balance
Walmart, Target, and Wholesale Clubs Continue to Thrive
Home Improvement and Decor Check In
Placer.ai Office Index: April 2024 Recap – Recovery Continues
Movie Theaters in Q1 2024: A Preview of Coming Attractions?
Let’s Get Physical: Fitness In 2024
Where Are Workers Returning to Office in 2024?
2024 Wins: Sweetgreen & First Watch on the Rise
A Full-Service Turnaround: Bloomin’, Dine, and Texas Roadhouse
Wendy’s and Denny’s: Breakfast and Late Night Dining Drives Success
Coffee Chains: Q1 2024 Update and What’s Changed Since COVID
Checking in with RBI and YUM!
Chipotle & McDonald's Serving Up Success
Wingstop & Shake Shack Continue Growing Their Reach 
Strong Start for Sprouts in 2024
Crocs’ Footwear Fairytale
Who Attends NCAA Final Four Events?
Eclipse Fever: How Did the (Retail and Hospitality) Stars Align?
Exploring Albertsons Companies’ Grocery Growth
Placer.ai Mall Index: March 2024 Recap – Malls Rise Again
Placer.ai Office Index: March 2024 Recap
Florida Spring Break Break-Up? Travelers Still Love Florida!
Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield Emerging As Utah Hotspots 
Three Formulas for Experiential Retail in 2024
Aldi & Lidl Making The Cut
Texas Suburbs on the Rise
Exploring Luxury Hotel Brands’ Guest Segmentation
The St. Patrick’s Day Effect
How Can JOANN Make a Comeback?
Panera Bread Well Positioned for Possible IPO
Who Will Benefit From Family Dollar’s Downsizing?
Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone
Darden Brands: Location Analytics and Consumer Behavior
Nike and lululemon: a Strong 2023, Sprinting into 2024
Where Is Retail and Dining Foot Traffic Thriving in Early 2024?
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – February 2024
Three Retail & Dining Chains That May Surprise in 2024
Specialty Discount Chains Rock Retail Therapy
Placer.ai Mall Index: February 2024
Placer.ai Office Index: February 2024 Recap
Ulta Beauty Continues To Shine
First Watch Sails Into 2024
Hibbett Sports and DICK’S Sporting Goods: A Psychographic Analysis
Checking in With Discount & Dollar Stores
Peeking Behind The Curtain: Movie Theaters in 2023 and Beyond
Diving Into Brick-and-Mortar Eyewear
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024: Placer.ai’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains
Placer.ai Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top
Placer.ai and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap
Placer.ai Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note
Making It In America: International Chicken Chains Bring The Heat
Domestic Tourism at a Glance: A Q3 2023 Roundup
Five Pizza Chains On The Rise
Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity
Secondhand News: Kids' Thrift Shops
Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As
MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season
Placer.ai Office Index: November 2023 Recap
Small Coffee Chains Brewing Big Success
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – November 2023
Thanksgiving Travel 2023 Recap