In this Placer Bytes, we dove into Target’s offline Deal Days performance, self-storage’s impressive monthly visit gains, and physical therapy chains’ summer surge.
Target Deal Days
This year marked the first time that the Target Deal Day sales extended not only to the Target website and app, but also to all brick-and-mortar Target stores. The sale lasted from October 10th through October 12th amidst reports of supply chain challenges and impending retail shortages pushing consumers to get a jump-start on their holiday shopping.
The Deal Days are intended to drive midweek foot traffic during a typically sluggish retail month nestled between the summer Back to School period and the heights of the holiday shopping season.
And comparing daily visits during the Deal Days sales event, which took place on Sunday through Tuesday of the second full week of October, to daily visits on Sunday through Tuesday of the second full week of October 2019 indicates that the Deal Days did help provide a boost. Year-over-two-year daily visits rose by 3.1% on Sunday, 15.0% on Monday, and 20.0% on Tuesday.
But context is key for a full understanding of Target’s Deal Days performance. Target monthly visits were up by over 11% in the month of September compared to the same month in 2019, and the retail giant’s strength seems to be continuing in October. Even so, comparing daily visits during the Deal Days sale to average daily visits during the previous five weeks shows that the sale event did give the brand a foot traffic boost, with October 11th visits up by 6.9% compared to the previous five-weeks monday visit average. So not only did the brand drum up interest with Deal Days, but they did it even compared to a uniquely strong period in the five week prior.
Self-Storage Pandemic’s Boost
The long months spent at home over the pandemic led many on a decluttering spree or on to adventures away from home, and self-storage companies have been reaping the benefits. And while the foot-traffic growth to Public Storage, the category’s visit leader, has been somewhat sporadic, other major self-storage brands – namely Extra Space Storage, CubeSmart Self Storage, and Life Storage – have been exhibiting remarkable year-over-two-year growth in monthly visits, with no sign of slowing down.
In September of last year, visits to Extra Space Storage, CubSmart Self Storage, and Life Storage had increased by 12.1%, 21.8%, and 20.9% compared to 2018. A year later, in 2021, year-over-two-year visits were still up significantly – 12.7%, 19.4%, and 20.8% for Extra Space Storage, CubSmart Self Storage, and Life Storage, respectively, when compared to 2019.
Several factors may be contributing to the consistent growth in foot traffic. Pandemic-induced moves, such as city-dwellers temporarily leaving urban areas, younger adults moving back in with their parents, or people trying out the digital nomad lifestyle may have led to the initial rise in visits as these folks packed up their belongings and stowed them away in storage units.
But the consistency of the foot traffic increase in the summer and going into the fall could indicate that the self-storage surge is here to stay. As the pandemic-induced dynamism fades and people continue settling down in more permanent locations, the fact that visits to self-storage chains continue to show significant strength demonstrates the impressive potential of this industry.
Physical Therapy’s Spring and Summer Surge
Whether due to pent-up demand, to the rise in consumer interest in outdoor activities, or to the physical manifestations of increased stress on the body during the long months of shelter-in-place, visits to physical therapy chains surged this summer. June was particularly strong, with visits to ATI, Select, and Athletico up 24.3%, 27.8%, and 37.9%, respectively, when compared to June 2019. The strength in visits continued throughout the summer, with year-over-two-year August visits up by 7.6%, 12.6%, and 32.8% for ATI, Select, and Athletico.
And while visits did drop in September, the sector still appears to hold significant potential.
Indeed, weekly foot traffic through the beginning of October is already looking up. Year-over-two-year visits between October 4-10 increased by 3.0%, 3.5%, and 21.8% compared to the equivalent week in 2019.
This could indicate that the September slump in physical therapy visits is more a factor of rising COVID cases and resulting concern rather than any drop in demand. As the current COVID wave continues to recede, patients may return to their physical therapists, fueling another fall surge in visits.
Will physical therapy visits rise again? Will the self-storage surge continue?
Visit Placer.ai to find out.