Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

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

Placer Bytes: Best Buy, Big Lots and Grocery Risers

by 
Ethan Chernofsky
 on 
February 23, 2021
Placer Bytes: Best Buy, Big Lots and Grocery Risers

In this Placer Bytes, we dive into the surprisingly strong performance of Best Buy, Big Lots ongoing opportunity, and the trajectory of Sprouts and Kroger.

Best Buy’s Strong Start

A resurgence of COVID cases right before Black Friday should spell doom for a brand that is heavily oriented around that specific day. Yet, while Best Buy certainly felt the impact in offline visits, the company seems to have weathered the storm quite effectively. After seeing year-over-year visit growth in October, visits dropped 16.3% in November. But by December the gap had already shrunk to just 12.2% and visits in January were actually up 1.8% year over year - the best mark since the start of 2020.

And this fast start may be a strong sign of things to come. While COVID’s effects will hopefully dissipate, the shift to a greater focus on work from home is unlikely to return fully. And Best Buy has deepened its role as a go-to provider of the home office experience. Additionally, the brand has shown the creativity necessary to stay ahead of the curve with everything from appointment shopping during the early stages of the reopening to a greater focus on health and wellness technologies. So, while betting against Best Buy may never be a smart decision, it could be especially foolish now.

Big Lots

Big Lots sits at the nexus of several positive trends that could bring a lot of value to the brand, and while Q3 may have driven a bigger year over year peak, the company ended the year with strength. Visits to Big Lots locations were up 8.5% in November, and while visits did decline 4.7% year over year in December, they returned to year-over-year growth in January. 

And even more importantly for Big Lots, the momentum does appear to be picking up. Visits the weeks beginning January 25th and February 1st saw visits up 3.7% and 5.9% respectively. Should this trend hold, the coming months could provide a significant lift for the brand as it attempts to replicate its 2020 success.

Sprouts and Kroger - Grocery Trends Continuing?

One of the big retail questions heading into 2021 centered around the ability of top grocery brands to sustain their unique strength into the new year. And early data does indicate that some players may prove capable of just that. Looking at visits to Kroger and Sprouts shows that visits to both chains dipped in late 2020. While Kroger saw visits up 0.7% in November, the visit gap increased slightly to 0.8% in December and 5.3% in January. For Sprout, the peaks were slightly different with November seeing a 4.5% year-over-year visit decline leading to 1.8% year-over-year visit growth in December and an 8.1% decline in January. 

But the rebound is already taking place. Kroger saw visits down just 1.3% the week beginning February 1st and saw visits up 0.3% the week beginning February 8th. Sprouts saw a positive turn those weeks as well with the best monthly output since the week beginning December 28th coming the week beginning February 8th. While there are many factors potentially responsible for the visit dip - from a resurgence of COVID cases and a return to mission-driven shopping to inclement weather - it is clear that grocery brands are well-positioned to handle the shifts. And Kroger continues to prove that it could be among the sector’s stronger performers in 2021.


Will Best Buy and Big Lots continue to outperform? Can Kroger drive a rebound into February? Visit Placer.ai to find out.

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.
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!
Looking Ahead to Black Friday 2023