Placer Bytes: Target’s Holidays and Bed Bath & Beyond’s Big Announcement

Targeting the Holidays

It’s always risky to bet against the king, and few in retail boast the same record as Target over the last few years. Following weaker than expected holiday earnings, excitement around the company tapered off. But is this deserved?

Target’s holiday revenue may have faded, but visit trends to the retailer continue to rise. November and December 2019 outperformed the same months in 2018, and this trend continued into 2020. Visits in January were 6.4% below the baseline from January 2017 through January 2020, which is significantly better than visits that were 12.1% below the baseline in January 2019. This further establishes the retail giant’s growing success with new strategic initiatives.

It also helps focus some of the challenges seen from 2019’s shorter holiday season. With Thanksgiving 2019 being later than normal, the holiday season lost nearly a week’s worth of shopping. For Target, the week after Thanksgiving 2018, saw visits 4.0% above the baseline. Comparing this to the week that was before Thanksgiving in 2019, in theory, the missing November week, visits were 1.1% below, indicating the significant loss of a potentially high performing period.

While Target’s overall performance consists of a variety of different factors, offline visits look to be on the rise, further cementing the brand’s ongoing potential and long term health.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s Big Bet

Let’s be clear, Bed Bath & Beyond’s numbers are not growing impressively. In fact, they continue to decline. But, a main reason the brand landed in our 2020 Winners post, is because of the long term opportunity with a Target-esque model.

The first real test to that theory was issued earlier this month with the announcement of a $400 million dollar upgraded store plan. The push to make these stores more effective is a key piece to better leveraging a massive footprint. The decline in visits also slowed down in 2019 with a drop of under 9% compared with a 10.7% decrease between 2017 and 2018. Obviously, this isn’t heartwarming news for Bed Bath & Beyond fans, but it does point to the reasons for guarded optimism. Ok, very guarded optimism. But there are still few brands with the same level of brand equity and the seemingly ideal leadership to drive such a turnaround. 

Will Target’s Q4 return confidence? Can Tritton’s first big turnaround move pay off? Visit Placer.ai to find out.

Ethan Chernofsky

Ethan Chernofsky

Ethan is the VP Marketing at Placer.ai and loves helping people reach their goals with location analytics.

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