Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

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

Placer Bytes: Five Below, Macy's and Office Supplies

by 
Ethan Chernofsky
 on 
June 9, 2020
Placer Bytes: Five Below, Macy's and Office Supplies

In this Placer Bytes we dive into the rebounds of Five Below and Macy’s and try to reinforce the bull case for the office supplies sector.

Five Below Rising

Five Below is a brand that was hit hard by the pandemic. Visits surged in February, growing by 16.8% year over year, before taking a 45.9% drop in March and falling completely flat in April. Yet, the rebound is underway. Visits rose week over week by 13.6% the week of May 11th, 15.6% the week of the 18th, and 9.8% the week of the 25th. And this rapid move to more normal levels does not appear to be abating. Visits on June 3rd were down just 22.9% year over year for the equivalent day, the best performing day for in-store visits since mid-March.

Macy’s Rebound

Another brand that felt this same pattern was Macy’s. Following a small year-over-year dip in January and a rise in February, Macy’s visits were expectedly hit hard by the pandemic. But since beginning its reopening process, visits are indeed rising. The week of May 11th saw week-over-week growth of 3.9%, while the weeks of May 18th and 25th saw increases of 13.3% and 5.7% respectively. 

While the growth is still limited by restrictions being put in place by malls, there are positive signs for the brand including the potential benefits of a key competitor, JCPenney, closing a large number of stores. Additionally, like Five Below, early June has shown the chain’s strongest visit numbers yet. So, though visits are not likely to reach normalcy in the very short term, the potential for a rebound is clearly there.

Office Supply Resurgence

In late April, we took a look at Office Depot and Staples and noted that both brands were performing at surprising levels considering they had been facing some significant visit declines in recent years. And while the pandemic didn’t drive an immediate and dramatic turnaround, it did bring heightened awareness to the value of the home office. Early in the crisis, visits to both brands were far better than they had in the previous months. And so we presumed that the office supply sector could be among those that look at the pandemic as a critical turning point, reemphasizing their value. Critically, it is important to note that this kind of bold prediction is only interesting because there is a high likelihood it could be wrong.

And looking at data through the end of May has done nothing to dissuade proponents (namely just me at this point) that this particular bold prediction won’t come to fruition at least to a certain extent. Looking at monthly data for both brands shows that February visits indeed saw a much smaller decline than those in January or late 2019. Then early March saw weekend visits spike, though the closing of stores limited the overall uplift before visits plummeted in April. Yet, May is seeing a significant rebound. 

And the recovery is picking up pace. While weekly visits for Office Depot and Staples were down 38.1% and 38.2% respectively the week of May 4th, those drops diminished significantly to 16.7% and 23.7% respectively by the week of May 25th. 

This rapid case of recovery is very promising, but its continued move will rest heavily on whether the upgraded status of the home office remains. Should work from home become just a slightly more significant component of the lives of many Americans, the boost could sustain itself. However, it will rely on the ability of these brands to effectively capitalize on this momentum.


Can Office Depot and Staples ride this wave forward? Will Five Below and Macy’s maximize the recovery? 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.
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Five Below: Q1 2024 Treasure Troves
CAVA Still Going Strong
Driving Success: Auto Parts Chains in 2024
Checking in With DICK’S Sporting Goods
Mother’s Day Shopping and Dining Trends
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