Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

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

Recovery Analysis: C-Stores and Pet Stores

by 
Tali Rozenman
 on 
May 19, 2020
Recovery Analysis: C-Stores and Pet Stores

With some states already loosening restrictions, retail is slowly starting to show signs of recovery from COVID-19’s effect. In this Placer Bytes, we dove into the pandemic’s impact on pet stores and C-stores to see who is well-positioned and whether a return to normalcy could be on the horizon.

Pet Stores Amid Pandemic

Pet retailers, like grocers, saw a boost the week of March 9th, when COVID-19-centric restrictions began to appear. Looking at the period from January 2019 to May 2020, Petco had an 8.7% baseline increase in foot traffic while PetSmart showed a 6.7% increase during this week. This is a 6.7% and 1.8% year-over-year increase respectively for Petco and PetSmart, which is quite significant, given the fact that for the most part, these chains have flat traffic, with very few changes. 

But, as with all retailers, a major downward trend followed and extended into April. However, looking at four major pet retailers during the month of April does show some promising signs. The third week of April saw a major improvement when looking at the year-over-year traffic change. And while the last week of April did see a slight dip for all four chains, it still looks as though the worst is over and the sector is on its way to recovery.

When looking at the giant, PetSmart, Saturdays consistently mark weekly peaks. And before the pandemic (January 2019 through February 2020),  22.9% of weekly visits were on Saturdays, with Monday through Thursday visits between 11% and 12%. But from March 1st through May 6th, 2020, this gap slightly decreases. Saturday visits now account for 18.8% of weekly visits, with Monday through Thursday visits between 11.7% and 12.9%, showing a more uniform daily visit distribution than previously. Should PetSmart find a way to continue attracting weekday visitors, it could create a more consistent demand to sustain a strong bounceback.

C-Store Comeback

C-stores also took a tumble at the beginning of April. Looking at five chains shows major drops in the first two weeks of April, with 7-Eleven experiencing a year-over-year decrease of 54.4%, while Wawa dropped to 58.7% in the second week of April. But things are definitely looking up, with traffic taking an upward turn in the second half of the month.  

Of the five chains, Wawa has the highest customer loyalty for the period, with an average of six visits per customer. But it was also the hardest hit, with visits dropping over 50% from the past year during each week of April. Last year’s spring and summer months marked the chain’s strongest period. Though year-over-year visit levels will likely remain low this spring and summer, hopefully, the warming weather can bring with it the seasonal boost Wawa needs to get back to pre-coronavirus levels. 

Looking at the king of convenience, 7-Eleven shows a similar seasonal trend. Both 2018 and 2019 are characterized by a strong spring, summer and early fall. This, again, gives the chain an opportunity to attract seasonal traffic just as economies begin to open back up. 

The Light at the End of the Tunnel? 

With both the pet and convenience store sectors beginning to show signs of a resurgence, we assume that the worst is, at least for now, over. But relying on seasonal and weekly peaks may not be enough to get these chains back to their pre-coronavirus visit levels. 

Who will take the extra steps needed for a strong bounce back? And how will shopper behavior change post-pandemic?

Check back in at the Placer.ai blog to stay posted. 

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