Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Retail Rebounds

Ethan Chernofsky
March 12, 2020
Retail Rebounds

In the midst of widespread closures, there are many brands that are still growing with companies like Nike and Lululemon. Yet, most of these names are not retailers on the rebound, but brands on the rise.

So, it came as especially exciting news when Foot Locker and Bath & Body Works both announced significant store expansions. Though Foot Locker was focused on one specific format while closing older stores, the push to reinvent and remodel is significant. 

With a growing number of legacy retailers looking for ways to return to glory, the success or failure of these pushes will go a long way to determining the look and feel of the next decade of retail. 

Working Bath and Body in Outdoor Malls

Looking at Bath & Body Works data from the start of 2017 through January 2019 shows a very interesting story. The brand saw a significant 26.6% decline from 2017 to 2018, followed by a year-over-year decline of 13.6% between 2018 and 2019.

But, the brand looks to be in the midst of a strong rebound. November 2019 visits were 14.1% above the baseline for the period from January 2017 through January 2020, a major increase compared to visits that were 7.8% above in November 2019. While December visits were essentially flat year-over-year, January visits were 21.8% higher this year, than the same month in 2019.

Does this mean the change is bound to succeed? No. 

But Bath & Body Works is not just expanding stores, they are expanding with a heavy emphasis on outdoor malls, something far different from its traditional strategy. From identifying new and potentially more ideal partners to sit near to finding more ideal locations, the move offers a lot of promise. When looking at apparel retailers only, some of the highest levels of cross shopping come with non-indoor mall brands like Kohl’s, Marshalls, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Ross. This indicates a new potential ceiling for the company by meeting segments of its audience in places they are more likely to regularly visit. 

Considering the already rebounding visit trajectory, there may be method to this apparent expansion madness.

Foot Locker on the Rise

Not normally thought of within the rise of athleisure industry, Foot Locker is riding a new, more focused strategy to significantly increase offline gains. Although the brand still has plans to close many stores, foot traffic has been on the rebound.  While visits were essentially flat between 2017 and 2018 with a 1.8% decline, the brand saw 18.9% visit growth in 2019. This included a spring and summer period that outperformed the same months in 2018 by a significant margin. Visits in August 2019 were 37.4% above the baseline for the period January 2017 through January 2020, well above 2018’s 11.3% rise. 

This strength continued into the holidays when visits were 7.9% above the baseline in November 2019, compared to 9.0% below in 2018. With a shorter holiday season, in-store visits were essentially flat with a minor decrease, but January 2020 visits were back on the growth trend. January visits were 7.6% below the baseline for the period, compared to 10.7% below the previous year. 

The growth speaks to a rejuvenated brand that is focusing more on local audiences and less on copy-and-paste store formats. This type of targeted approach appears to be paying dividends, so it is no surprise that the brand is expected to roll out additional store formats in the coming year.

Rebound Recipe?

While the ongoing success of these brands plays a critical role in determining their future, there is much to be said for the excitement being generated around these strategies. Outdoor malls, localized approaches to merchandising and store design are key trends to monitor for the coming years. 

If rebounds for brands like Bath & Body Works and Foot Locker prove sustainable, expect many others to test similar approaches.

How will the moves pay off in the long term? Visit 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 Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & 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
The San Francisco Shift
Grocery Year-End Update: Publix in the Spotlight
Three Ways Retailers Can Think Small to Increase Store Impact
Offline Beauty Is on an Upswing
The Evolving Migration Patterns of New York’s Florida Snowbirds Office Index: November 2022 Recap
How Viral Social Media Trends Can Drive Offline Engagement
Are You Ready for Some Football? Experiential Marketing Shows Promise
Mall and Shopping Center Trends For 2023
Retail Corridors and Indoor Malls: A Holiday Head-to-Head
Placer Bytes: Nike, lululemon, and GameStop Update Mall Indexes: November 2022 Update
Black Friday 2022: Consumers Hear the Call
Digitally Native Brands: Taking Off, Offline
Discount and Dollar Stores Leading the Pack
Turkey Wednesday 2022
Retail’s Evolving Holiday Season
Placer Bytes: Starbucks and Department Stores Ahead of Black Friday
Ulta: A Force to be Reckoned With
College Towns Drive Dining Growth
Foot Traffic Trends Reveal Consumers Ready for Holiday Cheer
How Retailers Can Win Big By Going Small
How Are Consumers Feeling Ahead of Black Friday 2022?
Off-Price, Hibbett, and Dick’s Pre-Holiday Check-in
Ho, Ho, Wholesale: Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s
October 2022’s Retail Rebound
Target and Walmart Ahead of the Holidays
Home Improvement: Leave it to the Pros
Despite Inflation, Holiday Season is Off to a Good Start Office Index: October 2022 Recap Mall Indexes- October 2022 Update
Americans Double Down on Fitness
The State of Grocery
CVS and Walgreens: The Wave Continues
Coffee Chains Brewing Up Visits Spotlight: Pizza Players
What Drove COVID-Era Urban Migration Trends?
Kroger and Albertsons: A Merging of Strengths
Texas Roadhouse Innovations Dishing Up Success
Holidays on the Horizon: Mid-Range and Luxury Shopping
McDonald's and Chipotle's Post-Pandemic Success
Announcing’s Q3 2022 Quarterly Index
5 Hot Restaurant Brands for 2023
Target Finds a Winning Deals Day Formula
Five Trends to Watch for 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
September 2022 Analysis: A Difficult Month and Time for Optimism
Inflation’s Retail Winners
Five Apparel Retailers to Watch Ahead of the Holidays Spotlight: Wawa’s QSR Pivot Mall Indexes: September 2022 Recap Office Indexes: September 2022 Recap
The Impact of Population Growth on Commercial Real Estate 
Starbucks' New Makeover
There's Somethin' About Pumpkin
Expanding Offline Reach
Breakfast Restaurants are Rising in Popularity
The Power of Labor Day 2022
Tourism in Miami Heating Up
Citi Trends on the Rise
Reaching Rural Consumers Through Retail Media Network
Darden Restaurants Cooking Up Success
The Home Improvement Sector: A Sign of Consumer Confidence
QSR Is Having a Northeastern Growth Spurt
Domestic Migration’s Ripple Effects
A Look Back at Back To School 2022
Kroger Digital Tell-All
The Return of In-Person Networking
The Reinvention of the American Mall Office Building Indexes: August 2022 Recap Mall Indexes - August 2022 Recap
Five Below’s Back to School Success
Plus-Size Fashion’s Staying Power
Placer Bytes: Best Buy & GameStop 
Petco Barking Up the Right Tree
Lipstick Effect Boosts Ulta’s Growth