Placer Bytes: CVS, Wendy’s, Shake Shack & Wingstop

In this Placer Bytes, we break down traffic for one of the top pharmacies and analyze the recoveries for Wendy’s, Shake Shack and Wingstop.

CVS – Back in Rhythm

Though clearly within the essential retail category, CVS felt the impact of COVID. Visits reached a low point in April with traffic down 36.8% year over year. Yet, from that point, the brand has seen a strong recovery with visits down 27.8% year over year in May and just 10.6% in June.

But even more importantly, the pace of the recovery strengthened through June and early July. Visits the week of June 15th were down just 3.0% year over year, largely due to reopening in keys states. And while the week of June 22nd failed to match that number, the weeks of June 29th and July 6th were down just 4.0% and 2.0% respectively year over year, bringing 2019 numbers firmly within reach. 

And this is exactly what happened the week of July 13th when visits for CVS were up 2.7% year over year – the first point of year over year growth since the pandemic began. With a growing emphasis on health, wellness, and social distancing, the company’s new Health Hubs initiative could receive a boost driving this success deeper into the year.

Restaurants on the Rise

In a continuation of the trend playing out for other brands in both the fast food and casual sit- down setting, recoveries for Wendy’s, Wingstop, and Shake Shack have been progressing well. Wingstop and Shake Shack visits were down just 40.3% and 57.9% respectively, compared to April low points that were down 58.3% and 86.1% for the two chains. Yet, Wendy’s performance is clearly the most impressive of the bunch with June visits already back to just 30.3% down year over year. An exceptional achievement, considering March visits were down 31.1%, even though the country was fully open to kick off the month.

And all three have also enjoyed consistent steps forward. The week of July 6th, Wendy’s saw visits that were down just 22.7%, compared to visits down 33.3% the week of June 1st. For Wingstop, the week of July 6th saw visits down 36.7% year over year, compared to visits that were down 43.1% the week of June 1st. So, in a little over a month, both brands saw year-over-year gaps cut significantly.

Yet, it was Shake Shack that saw the strongest surge with visits down 50.8% the week of July 6th, compared to visits that were down 68.8% year over year for the week of June 1st. Here again, brands look to be pushing back towards normalcy despite concerns that this sector could potentially be among the hardest hit.

Can CVS reach growth again in the coming weeks? Will the wider restaurant sector continue its recovery pace deeper into the summer?

Visit to find out.

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