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Already have a account? Log In White Paper Recap – November 2023

Shira Petrack
December 6, 2023 White Paper Recap – November 2023

In November 2023, released white papers exploring the car dealership space; revealing 8 trends to watch in 2024; and identifying 3 trends shaping the dining industry. Below is a taste of our findings. To read more data-driven consumer research, visit our library

Shifts in Auto Dealerships Visit Trends

Prior to the pandemic and throughout most of 2020, visits to both car brand and used-only dealerships followed relatively similar trends – but the two categories began to diverge in early 2021. By the end of 2021, inventory challenges and price increases meant that car brand dealerships were struggling to maintain their pre-pandemic visit levels. 

Meanwhile, although the price for used cars also rose, used cars still remained, on average, more affordable than new ones. And with rising demand for alternatives to public transportation, visits to used car dealerships skyrocketed for much of 2021 and into 2022. But in the second half of last year, as gas prices remained elevated, visits to used car dealerships also dipped.

Now, the price of both used and new cars has finally begun falling slightly, and the price drops are also impacting visit trends. The situation remains dynamic – with some reports of prices creeping back up – so the auto dealership landscape may well continue to shift going into 2024. 

For the full report, read Exploring the Car Dealership Space.

Placemaking through Tenant Diversity 

The move towards greater tenant diversity in malls shaped the shopping center space in recent years, and the trend appears set to be taken to the next level in 2024. Placemaking – crafting public spaces that go beyond utilitarian needs to foster social interaction and exchange – is at the forefront of many urban development initiatives, and the trend is already boosting retail performance in successful placemaking projects. 

Fenton, a mixed-use district in Cary, N.C., opened in June 2022. The project showcases the potential of placemaking to transform an underutilized space into a vibrant “live-work-play” community with something for individuals and families of all ages. The retail and entertainment village includes shops, restaurants, seasonal attractions, entertainment venues, and other diverse offerings that are establishing Fenton as a community hub and a prime destination for residents. Since the project’s unveiling in 2022, visits have grown more than 100%, and median dwell time has increased from 56 to 87 minutes. 

Placemaking gives retailers and real estate developers tools to attract more traffic from a wider range of consumers and give these consumers a reason to  spend more time in the store or space. Given the extensive benefits of placemaking, the practice is likely to continue to intensify as we move into 2024. 

For more 2024 retail trends and to get the full report, read 8 Retail Trends to Watch in 2024.

Digging Into Dining

Comparing quarterly visits in 2023 and 2022 highlights the impact of the ongoing economic headwinds on the dining industry. The year started off strong, with year-over-year (YoY) dining visits up overall in Q1 2023 – perhaps aided by the comparison to an Omicron-impacted muted Q1 2022. And while overall dining growth stalled in Q2 2023, several segments – including QSR, Fast Casual, and Coffee – continued posting YoY visit increases, likely bolstered by consumers trading down from pricier full-service concepts. 

Foot traffic slowed significantly in Q3 2023 as inflation and tighter consumer budgets constrained discretionary spending. Overall dining visits fell 2.4% YoY, and full-service restaurants – with their relatively high price point compared to other dining segments – seemed to be particularly impacted by the wider economic outlook. But the data also revealed some bright spots: Fast Casual still succeeded in maintaining positive YoY visit numbers and Coffee saw its Q3 visit grow an impressive 5.4% YoY. As the return to office continues, a pre-work coffee run or lunchtime foray to a fast-casual chain may continue propelling the two segments forward. 

For more dining analysis, read 3 Trends Shaping the Dining Industry

For more data-driven consumer research, visit our library

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