Placer Bytes: Checking in on Kroger, At Home and Michaels

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In this Placer Bytes, we analyze what Kroger’s success means moving forward, break down the continued success of At Home and signs of a Michaels breakout.

Learning about Kroger’s Future from its Present

Few have had a better turnaround in 2020 than Kroger. After and up and down 2019, the last ten months have produced an impressive run, especially in light of the pandemic. Kroger was part of a group of traditional grocers that have seen their value increase as visitors increasingly prioritize the combination of value and the ability to serve as a one-stop-shop. But the big question is whether this success will translate into a longer term run, and early data appears to indicate yes. 

While the first two quarters of 2020 were dominated by a direct reaction to the pandemic, Kroger saw significant summertime success as well. Apart from September visits down 3.8%, August and October were up 4.3% and 1.2% respectively year over year. With the coming year likely to privilege grocery as a result of continued economic uncertainty, Kroger could be among the best positioned to see their success continue.

Is At Home a Powerhouse in the Making?

Visits in April were down over 90% year over year, yet the rising home goods giant has seen nothing but impressive offline results since then. Visits in August, September and October were up 35.8%, 22.4% and 18.5% respectively year over year, with the August number marking the brands highest year over year growth mark in 2020.

And even better, it looks as though the brand is gearing up for an especially successful holiday season. At Home is enjoying a wider wave carrying many home goods brands to strong visit numbers, and they appear to be picking up again. After watching visit gaps decline to flat compared to 2019, At Home has seen a resurgence in recent weeks. The weeks beginning November 2nd, 9th, and 16th were up 15.6%, 25.5%, and 22.5% respectively, indicating that the brand’s offering could be in very high demand this holiday season.

Michaels

After seeing visits up 0.7% and 4.4% respectively in July and August, optimism abounded for Michaels. Yet, the next two months left much to be desired with visits down 8.4% and 11.6% respectively in September and October. And there was good reason to doubt whether the earlier success would hold.

But the decline does seem to be turning around, and quickly. The six weeks beginning September 18th were down an average of 13.7%, but the week of November 9th saw an abrupt change with visits down just 0.1%. And the week beginning November 16th saw a return to year over year growth with visits up 1.4%. Should this pattern hold, Michaels may be set up to end 2020 on a needed high note.

Will Krogers success continue into 2021? Can At Home end the year as well as it began? Will Michaels continue its late year turnaround? Visit Placer.ai to find out.

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