Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

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

Placer Bytes: Costco & Lululemon

by 
Ethan Chernofsky
 on 
December 8, 2020
Placer Bytes: Costco & Lululemon

In this Placer Bytes, we dive into two retail giants from vastly different sectors, wholesale club king Costco and athleisure leader Lululemon.

Costco

Costco’s rebound should come as no surprise. Whether it be mission-driven shopping, economic uncertainty driving consumers to value, or the ability to stock-up ahead of potential closures, there are few trends that don’t align for the wholesale club giant. They’ve also seen a steady uptick in visits with July, August, and October showing year-over-year growth. While September did mark a 3.5% visit decline year over year, October was the strongest visit month for the brand since March with traffic to stores up 3.9%.

And these visit rates are not slowing down. As we noted in our holiday season expectations, wholesale clubs seemed uniquely suited to the current environment. Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas would drive visits, as would concerns over new shutdowns with rising case numbers, and there was already a growing push in their favor. Even more, wholesale clubs tend to see a strong pull to repeat visits because of their membership model.

As expected, these trends turned into visits. The weeks beginning October 26th and November 2nd saw visits up 4.3% and 2.7% year over year, in line with October numbers. But the weeks of November 9th and 16th saw visits surge 8.0% and 6.6% year over year, setting the brand up for a huge November. And while visits were down 14.1% the week of Thanksgiving, they also included a 2.2% increase in visit duration, a major jump considering the already extended nature of the average Costco visit. This indicates that shoppers are deepening their mission-driven shopping as COVID numbers rise in key regions for Costco.

Lululemon

Lululemon is one of the most exciting retail brands and is among the strongest performers in the highly competitive athleisure and activewear segments. It was also one of the strongest apparel performers in 2019 and the early part of 2020 with a major expansion plan driving huge visit growth. So, it should come as little surprise that the brand was on a clear and impressive path of recovery. Each month saw the year-over-year visit gap shrink with visits down 19.8%, 16.9%, and just 11.0% in August, September, and October respectively.

Yet, it does appear that wider concerns over a COVID resurgence and the impact that this fear is having on mall traffic is leaving consequences. Visits for the weeks beginning October 26th and November 2nd were down 29.3% and 22.0% respectively year over year. And while the weeks of November 9th and 16th were doing much better with visits down just 14.0% and 14.3% respectively, this was still far off the pace the brand had been setting in October.

Importantly, the trend shows something very important for Lululemon. Like many other retailers, these brands do very well when allowed to open and struggle when restrictions are in place. While this may sound obvious, it is important because it shows the ongoing and continued value their offline locations provide. 

Should a vaccine truly be on the way and COVID shortly become a thing of the past, Lululemon’s visit data shows that they could be among the fastest to recover and even gain strength in the longer term. This is especially true considering the brand’s leadership among a retail segment that could actually be further strengthened by recent events.

Will Costco’s dominance continue into the holidays? Can Lululemon show strength in the face of rising COVID cases? 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.
Placer.ai Mall Index: April 2024 Recap – Retail Resilience Heading into Spring
Dollar Stores Still Gaining Momentum
Off-Price Apparel Chains After Q1 2024: Demographics in the Balance
Walmart, Target, and Wholesale Clubs Continue to Thrive
Home Improvement and Decor Check In
Placer.ai Office Index: April 2024 Recap – Recovery Continues
Movie Theaters in Q1 2024: A Preview of Coming Attractions?
Let’s Get Physical: Fitness In 2024
Where Are Workers Returning to Office in 2024?
2024 Wins: Sweetgreen & First Watch on the Rise
A Full-Service Turnaround: Bloomin’, Dine, and Texas Roadhouse
Wendy’s and Denny’s: Breakfast and Late Night Dining Drives Success
Coffee Chains: Q1 2024 Update and What’s Changed Since COVID
Checking in with RBI and YUM!
Chipotle & McDonald's Serving Up Success
Wingstop & Shake Shack Continue Growing Their Reach 
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?