Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Off-Price Apparel Update - Q1 2022

Bracha Arnold
May 10, 2022
Off-Price Apparel Update - Q1 2022

Off-price stores, which sell branded clothing at a discount, have overperformed compared to the wider apparel sector throughout the pandemic. Much like the grocery segment, this market seemed to thrive in an uncertain world. Now, with a new set of challenges – including inflation, gas prices, and supply-chain disruptions – impacting almost all retail segments, we checked in with the category to see how it’s holding up.  

How These Retailers Weathered the Pandemic

When COVID’s retail impact first began, the future of retail seemed uncertain. 

Analysts predicted a pivot to e-commerce and some even questioned whether we were seeing the end of brick and mortar retail. But while the e-commerce sector did indeed grow in the past two years, and some offline stores did shutter, many other brick and mortar retailers found themselves thriving. 

Off-price retail was one such success story. We analyzed four industry leaders - Marshalls and T.J. Maxx (owned by TJX Companies,) Burlington Coat Factory, and Ross Dress for Less. Over the past two years, these companies outperformed many of their retail counterparts, even though two of them – Ross and Burlington – do not operate online stores at all. With omni-channel shopping increasingly being touted as the future of retail, the success of these brands is all the more impressive. 

Yearly Visit Trends Remain Impressive 

Comparing foot traffic trends to prior years reflects the industry’s overall success. Even amidst a wave of unique challenges - from Omicron in January and February to the lingering impact of inflation and the sharp effect of rising gas prices - the sector has managed to show strong relative performances. 

While those months that were more impacted by these challenges did see year-over-year visit declines, visit rates proved resilient as shopping behaviors quickly normalized. Following sharper declines in March, visit rates returned to growth or near growth for all four chains. Considering the magnitude of the challenges faced - especially for apparel - the quick rebound speaks for itself.

A glance at year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) visit trends are equally noteworthy, as visits are up even compared to pre-pandemic levels. In February 2022, Burlington visits were 11.7% higher than in 2019, while T.J. Maxx saw an 8.7% increase compared to the equivalent month in 2019. 

And despite March’s YoY slump, by April all the chains but Marshalls had pulled forward, with T.J. Maxx visit trends 1% higher than they were three years ago, and Burlington receiving 10.5% more visitors. 

And while many predictions assumed omni-channel would be the lifeboat keeping retail afloat, the two stores with the strongest Yo3Y foot traffic – Ross and Burlington – are the two that don’t offer any online shopping. The data here shows the clear value that the offline experience offers in this segment, but also the jump forward that the sector took as a whole during the pandemic.

Monthly Foot Traffic Pulling Ahead

Off-price’s resilience becomes even more apparent as we dig deeper into foot traffic patterns. A glance at Q1 2022 shows a significant downturn in January ‘22, with visit shares down between 40 and 50%. This pattern can be attributed to the Omicron wave and to regular seasonality. December is generally one of the strongest months for off-price retailers. 

By February, visit shares were pulling forward, with all four retailers seeing more visits than in January, despite February’s fewer days. And month-over-month (MoM) visits increased again in March and April showing the strong momentum the sector is seeing, even in the face of elements like inflation that can reduce demand. As the segment continues to normalize, it may actually benefit from these trends as they tend to give an added boost to value-oriented retailers.

Final Thoughts

As prices continue to rise, we may see more and more shoppers opt for bargains at their local off-price retailers. And despite a rocky start to the quarter, the recent upturn may signal real reason for optimism. 

Follow for more data-driven insights.  

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.
How Will Primark’s US Expansion Impact Target?
All Eyes on Eyewear
Northwestern U.S. Grocery Dive
Return of the Lunch: Salad Chains Are Thriving
Retail Media Networks – Off the Beaten Track
Bet Your Bottom Dollar: Discount and Dollar Stores Drive Foot Traffic
Ulta & Lululemon: Discretionary Spending On The Up
The Score After Q1: Sporting Goods Chains
Who Uses NYC Airports: Biting Into The Big Apple’s Main Transport Hubs
Off Price: Strength in The Face of Retail Challenges
Visits Improve for Home Improvement
Walmart, Target & Wholesalers in Q1 2023 – The Return of Mission-Driven Shopping?
Department Store Roundup: Q1 2023 Office Index: April 2023 Recap Mall Index, April 2023 – A Rebound on the Horizon?
How Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bankruptcy Impact the Retail Space?
Buffet Restaurants: Filling Up on Foot Traffic
Thrift Stores: Vintage Visits Drive New Age in Apparel
The Windy City: A Hub of Post-Pandemic Opportunity
Diving into Dining Traffic - Q1 2023
Bring On The Joe
A Dollar (or more) For Your Thoughts: Five Below and pOpshelf
Dining Out With The Cheesecake Factory
Retail Foot Traffic Recap – March 2023
Digging Into 2023: McDonald’s and Chipotle Update Office Index: March 2023 Recap
How Did Key Retail Categories Perform in Q1 2023?
Northeastern USA Grocery Dive
Movie Theaters Storylines for 2023
Ollie's Bargain Outlet: Discounters are Evolving
Leveraging Brick-and-Mortar Retail in 2023
America’s Evolving Work Patterns: A Deep-Dive into New York and Chicago Mall Index March 2023
Tuning Into Record Stores
Five Franchises To Watch in 2023
What’s Next For Domestic Tourism?
It’s Showtime! Movie Theaters in the Spotlight
5 Limited Time Offers (LTOs) Driving Restaurant Traffic
Department Store Deep-Dive: Belk
Regional Grocery Chains Staying Ahead of the Competition
Five Chains that Rightsized for Success
Unlocking the Potential of Offline Retail Media Networks
Dining Out With Darden
What’s in Store for Self-Storage?
Nike & lululemon Update: Strong Performance Amid Expansion Plans
Many Ways to Win: Midwest Grocery Deep Dive
Retail, Reinvented: The Rise of the Pop-Up Shop
Navigating a New Normal in Business Travel & Commutes Office Index: February 2023 Recap
Retail Categories Staying Strong in Volatile Environment
Ulta Beauty: Poised for Success into 2023 Mall Index February 2023: Reasons for Continued Optimism
Catching Up With DICK’s & Hibbett
The Miami-Dade Arena: An Advertising Slam Dunk
Car Washes Revving Up Visits
Tuesday Morning and Sunrises in Home Furnishing
Dining & Valentine’s Day Recap
2023: The Year of the Discount Store
Aldi’s Success Highlights Growing Demand for Value Groceries
5 Retail & Service Categories Holding onto Pandemic Gains in 2023
Visitor Insights from Super Bowl 2023
2023 First Look: Home Improvement Update
How Are Target, Walmart, and Wholesale Clubs Faring in 2023?
Department Store Deep-Dive: Nordstrom
Off-Price: Taking Off in Uncertain Times
Checking in On Middle-Class Hubs
Who Attends the Super Bowl? Office Index: January 2023 Recap
Focusing On Fitness: Q4 and January Recap Mall Index: January 2023 – Returning Mall Normalcy?
Location Intelligence Insights Into Concert Attendance
Winning Dining Strategies for 2023
In-N-Out Burger: What to Expect as the Brand Moves East
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Migration 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’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index 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 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
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap
The San Francisco Shift
Grocery Year-End Update: Publix in the Spotlight