Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

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

Ethan Chernofsky
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 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 Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
How Will Primark’s US Expansion Impact Target?
All Eyes on Eyewear
Northwestern U.S. Grocery Dive
Return of the Lunch: Salad Chains Are Thriving
Retail Media Networks – Off the Beaten Track
Bet Your Bottom Dollar: Discount and Dollar Stores Drive Foot Traffic
Ulta & Lululemon: Discretionary Spending On The Up
The Score After Q1: Sporting Goods Chains
Who Uses NYC Airports: Biting Into The Big Apple’s Main Transport Hubs
Off Price: Strength in The Face of Retail Challenges
Visits Improve for Home Improvement
Walmart, Target & Wholesalers in Q1 2023 – The Return of Mission-Driven Shopping?
Department Store Roundup: Q1 2023 Office Index: April 2023 Recap Mall Index, April 2023 – A Rebound on the Horizon?
How Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bankruptcy Impact the Retail Space?
Buffet Restaurants: Filling Up on Foot Traffic
Thrift Stores: Vintage Visits Drive New Age in Apparel
The Windy City: A Hub of Post-Pandemic Opportunity
Diving into Dining Traffic - Q1 2023
Bring On The Joe
A Dollar (or more) For Your Thoughts: Five Below and pOpshelf
Dining Out With The Cheesecake Factory
Retail Foot Traffic Recap – March 2023
Digging Into 2023: McDonald’s and Chipotle Update Office Index: March 2023 Recap
How Did Key Retail Categories Perform in Q1 2023?
Northeastern USA Grocery Dive
Movie Theaters Storylines for 2023
Ollie's Bargain Outlet: Discounters are Evolving
Leveraging Brick-and-Mortar Retail in 2023
America’s Evolving Work Patterns: A Deep-Dive into New York and Chicago Mall Index March 2023
Tuning Into Record Stores
Five Franchises To Watch in 2023
What’s Next For Domestic Tourism?
It’s Showtime! Movie Theaters in the Spotlight
5 Limited Time Offers (LTOs) Driving Restaurant Traffic
Department Store Deep-Dive: Belk
Regional Grocery Chains Staying Ahead of the Competition
Five Chains that Rightsized for Success
Unlocking the Potential of Offline Retail Media Networks
Dining Out With Darden
What’s in Store for Self-Storage?
Nike & lululemon Update: Strong Performance Amid Expansion Plans
Many Ways to Win: Midwest Grocery Deep Dive
Retail, Reinvented: The Rise of the Pop-Up Shop
Navigating a New Normal in Business Travel & Commutes Office Index: February 2023 Recap
Retail Categories Staying Strong in Volatile Environment
Ulta Beauty: Poised for Success into 2023 Mall Index February 2023: Reasons for Continued Optimism
Catching Up With DICK’s & Hibbett
The Miami-Dade Arena: An Advertising Slam Dunk
Car Washes Revving Up Visits
Tuesday Morning and Sunrises in Home Furnishing
Dining & Valentine’s Day Recap
2023: The Year of the Discount Store
Aldi’s Success Highlights Growing Demand for Value Groceries
5 Retail & Service Categories Holding onto Pandemic Gains in 2023
Visitor Insights from Super Bowl 2023
2023 First Look: Home Improvement Update
How Are Target, Walmart, and Wholesale Clubs Faring in 2023?
Department Store Deep-Dive: Nordstrom
Off-Price: Taking Off in Uncertain Times
Checking in On Middle-Class Hubs
Who Attends the Super Bowl? Office Index: January 2023 Recap
Focusing On Fitness: Q4 and January Recap Mall Index: January 2023 – Returning Mall Normalcy?
Location Intelligence Insights Into Concert Attendance
Winning Dining Strategies for 2023
In-N-Out Burger: What to Expect as the Brand Moves East
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Migration Trends
A Location Intelligence Perspective on Macy’s Rightsizing
Amazon-Powered Shopping: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?
Cold Weather, Hot Visits: Diving into Winter Resorts
Wawa and 7-Eleven: Leaning Into the “Slurpee Effect”
2022 and Beyond: Catching Up With McDonald’s & Chipotle
Let’s Have Some Fun! Going Out Is In’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index Adds Industry Executives to Leadership Team To Drive Company's Next Phase of Growth
5 Emerging Retail Formats: 2023’s Brick-and-Mortar Evolution
Grocery Update: Zooming in on the Lone Star State
2022 Office Recap: The Year of the TGIF Work Week
What Lies Ahead for Brick-and-Mortar Luxury in 2023 Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
Looking Back on 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
Post-Pandemic Migration Trends in New York
Top Retailers for 2023
The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity
Domestic Migration to the Mountain States: Small Shifts with Big Implications
New Year, New Food: 5 Dining Trends For 2023
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap
The San Francisco Shift
Grocery Year-End Update: Publix in the Spotlight