Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

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

Placer Bytes: Target's Hot Start, Kohl's and Ross Dive into 2021

by 
Ethan Chernofsky
 on 
February 25, 2021
Placer Bytes: Target's Hot Start, Kohl's and Ross Dive into 2021

In this Placer Bytes, we break down Target and dive into Kohl’s and Ross.

Target Rising Again

It may be stating the obvious at this point, but Target seems poised for an exceptionally strong year. After seeing visits hover just under 2019 levels for most of the spring and summer, September and October drove visits that were up 2.6% and 5.2% year over year. Yet, like most other retailers, the resurgence of COVID cases impacted visits driving a year over year visit gap of 8.5% in November and 5.4% in December. Critically, all of this was happening while visit durations were spiking indicating that, while overall visits were down, the magnitude of those visits was significantly stronger, highlighting the mission driven shopping trend.

And while the caliber of visit looks unchanged, Target had already returned to year-over-year visit growth in January with traffic to locations up 0.5% year over year. This is an exceptional start for a brand that is perfectly aligned with key retail trends and has shown that it will leverage its current strength to drive innovative new concepts and partnerships.

But even this strength requires context. While January 2021 saw 0.5% year-over-year growth compared to January in 2020, when put alongside January 2019 the growth was an even stronger 4.5%. And this number is very important for a few reasons. First, it shows just how impressive Target’s January growth was as it came in comparison to an, especially strong January a year prior. Second, the 2019 comparison will likely be a common comparison moving deeper into 2021 as brands and analysts look for a more effective means of benchmarking current performance against ‘normal’ times.  This should work in Target’s favor as the brand could be among the few to show strength against both 2019 and 2020 levels.

Kohl’s and Ross Show Potential for Big Years

A big reason we chose Kohl’s as one of our 2021 winners was the relative strength the brand had shown compared to other department store and apparel players and the fact that it was leveraging the strength to drive new and exciting concepts. And Koh’s took another step forward in January with visits down 17.8% year over year, the best mark since before the pandemic. Ross, a leading brand in one of retail’s most exciting segments, also saw strong results in January. The brand saw visits down just 10.2% - the second best mark since the pandemic kicked off and a continuation of the strong recovery for off-price leaders.

And here too, the 2019 comparisons are illustrative. While Kohl’s saw January visits down 17.8% compared to January 2020, the gap was just 7.9% when compared with January 2019. For Ross, the shift was even more significant. Instead of the 10.2% visit gap the brand saw with January 2020, Ross actually showed growth compared to January 2019.

Like Target, these numbers are important for context. First they demonstrate that the year-over-year decline is also relative to the fact that both brands had been seeing significant strength heading into the pandemic in 2020. Second, it will provide a strong opportunity to measure the performance against ‘normalcy’ giving both the chance to show their current strength in a fuller context.


Will Target continue to set the standard in offline retail? Will Kohl’s and Ross drive continued recoveries? 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