Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

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

How Off-Price Apparel Is Beating the Pandemic

by 
Shira Petrack
 on 
February 21, 2022
How Off-Price Apparel Is Beating the Pandemic

Off-price foot traffic has been outperforming the apparel average for all through 2021, and recent data shows that visits across the sector are still strong. To better understand the sector, we analyzed overall visit performance and consumer behavior patterns for T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Burlington, and Ross Dress for Less to see how these off-price leaders capped off 2021 and to understand what lies ahead for the sector in 2022. 

Visit Performance Overview 

Most off-price retailers reached a full visit recovery towards the end of 2020, quickly bouncing back from COVID-induced restrictions. While overall nationwide apparel visits struggled to consistently exceed – or even reach – their 2019 visit levels, the leading off-price retailers continued posting strong visit performances throughout 2021 - in spite of or perhaps as a result of their brick and mortar focus. 

And despite the concerns that supply chain challenges and rising freight costs would impact off-price inventory, the sector finished the year on a high note. December Yo2Y visits increased by 4.5%, 5.9%, 3.7%, and 0.9%, for  T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Burlington, and Ross Dress for Less, respectively. And although foot traffic slowed down in January - likely as a result of surging COVID cases - all four off-price leaders continued to outperform the apparel category – a testimony to the enduring appeal of the off-price model. 

Sky High Consumer Loyalty 

Another promising sign for the long-term prospects of the sector is that the high visit numbers are not coming from one-off visitors: off-price consumers have proved to be extremely loyal. Ross has the highest loyalty score, with 85.0% of visits in July to December 2021 coming from customers who have visited Ross stores at least twice in that period. 

T.J. Maxx and Marshalls were not far behind –  in the second half of 2021, 83.1% and 81.6%, of visits, respectively, were from loyal customers. And customer loyalty to Burlington was also quite high, with 77.0% of visits between Q3 and Q4 2021 attributed to loyal customers - a number that many also be slightly lower because of the brands surging overall visits and growing customer base.

The graph below shows just how successful off-price brands have been at cultivating a loyal clientele. Over a third of visits to each of the four leading off-price retailers between July and December 2021 were from customers who visited the chain at least six times in those six months – a rarity for apparel brands. This means that the treasure-hunt experience, value orientation and frequent inventory turnover is motivating them to make frequent visits to the store to check out the latest arrivals.

Off-Price Pie Expanding – Cross-Shopping on the Rise

Lastly, cross-shopping – the share of customers of one brand that also shop at another brand – has increased since 2019. The increase in cross-shopping was greatest for T.J. Maxx and Burlington customers – meaning that more T.J. Maxx and Burlington customers also shopped at the other off-price brands in July to December 2021 compared to the same period in 2021, and cross-shopping increased the least among Marshalls customers. Still, the trend towards more off-price shopping is undeniable. 

Given the context of high foot traffic and strong loyalty, the increase in cross-shopping can only mean one thing – the demand for off-price apparel is on the rise. The combination of bargain pricing and treasure-hunt experience has proved attractive enough to not only withstand the challenges of 2021, but to actually thrive despite the difficult retail conditions.

Want to stay up to date on the performance of leading retailers? 

Visit placer.ai/blog.

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.
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
Checking in With Nike and Lululemon
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
Placer.ai 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!