Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Placer Bytes: JC Penney's Buyout and Darden Restaurants

Jocelyn Bauer
September 22, 2020
Placer Bytes: JC Penney's Buyout and Darden Restaurants

In this Placer Bytes we dive into the data surrounding JCPenney and Darden Restaurants. 

JCPenney's Buyout

Despite filing for bankruptcy back in May and being recently bought out by mall operators Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Group, JCPenney’s foot traffic has been increasing since the retail economy was allowed to reopen across the country. Visits for the brand bottomed out in April, but began to bounce back during in May, with visits 88.0% down before taking a huge step forward in June, with visits reaching just 45.9% down year over year. 

But, since that point, visits have stagnated when compared to 2019 numbers. While there are clearly elements that are related to JC Penney specifically, much of the struggles have been connected with wider issues for the apparel sector, the malls that they generally call home and have been directly related to resurgences of COVID cases in key states during those months.

However, while monthly visits were at a standstill, the weekly visits began to tell a different story from the middle of the month. When looking at year-over-year weekly traffic since the beginning of August, we see traffic moving back towards 2019 levels. Traffic has improved every week since August 10th, with the week of Sept. 7th drawing visits closest to 2019 levels, with visits just 28.1% down — the closest since mid-June. With a new owner and recovering visits, the brand could be poised for a strong close to 2020.

Darden Restaurants 

It’s no surprise that the restaurant industry was among the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic, but it’s almost been one of the quickest to rebound. Darden Restaurants has seven different chains around the country, and all of them have been inching closer to pre-COVID levels. Each of these seven had positive year-over-year growth at the beginning of 2020, for both January and February, but of course, plummeted during COVID. 

Cheddar’s, LongHorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden and Eddie V’s have had the fastest recoveries of the group, with year-over-year traffic in August down 30.0%, 18.4%, 33.7% and 32.6%, respectively. And, while the other restaurants in the group were slightly behind in their recovery process, they are still continuing to push closer to 2019 levels. But, it’s also important to note that, while Seasons 52 and Yard House are recovering the slowest, with visits down 48.5% for both restaurants for August, many of their locations are in Florida — one of the hardest hit states with a recent resurgence of cases. 

Weekly visits are also on the rebound. All but Capital Grille, generated numbers for the week of Sept. 7th that were better than those at the beginning of August. And while Capital Grille is still on the rebound, it seems to be doing so at a slower rate likely because of its regional distribution and approach. 

The brand is both expensive in a time where economic uncertainty prevails and city-oriented when these have been the hardest hit areas with many cases of residents fleeing and higher income professionals not coming in as often.

Will the buyout prove to be a positive move for JCP? Can Darden’s restaurant portfolio continue to weather the post-COVID environment? Check back in the 

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.
Why Are Specialty Grocers Thriving in 2023?
The CAVA Craze: A Location Intelligence Perspective on the Mediterranean Marvel
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