Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Starbucks - 2021 Recap

Ethan Chernofsky
January 31, 2022
Starbucks - 2021 Recap

While our latest Coffee Deep Dive broke down the unique opportunity in the coffee and breakfast segment of the wider dining space, there was a specific need to call out the strength displayed by Starbucks in 2021.

The Expanded Power of Starbucks

Considering the wider impacts of COVID on shopping and work behavior, it would have been fair to assume that visits would remain below normal levels throughout the year. And that is exactly how 2021 began, with visits down 16.1% and 18.4% in January and February, respectively, compared to the same months in 2019. Yet, by March, visits had returned to growth and remained that way throughout the rest of the year.

Visits peaked in the summer with the Back-to-School shopping season driving ample opportunities to drop by a Starbucks. And though this period performed well, it would have been fair to expect visit rates to decline in the fall, considering the comparison to November and December months that consistently mark the annual traffic peaks for the brand. However, visits did just the opposite, with Q4 marking visit increases of 7.0%, 13.2%, and 9.8% respectively in October, November, and December compared to the same months in 2019 – an especially strong performance considering the heights hit during this period in the past.

And the month over month comparisons confirm that, while behaviors have changed and shifted over the past two years, the brand has maintained its normal seasonality. October visits were up 3.4% and November visits were up 14.7% compared to the previous month, showcasing Starbucks’ ability to successfully drive a yearly fall visit surge. 


The holiday season was particularly interesting for Starbucks because there was real reason for concern. The brand normally sees some of its strongest performances on major retail holidays, and the extended shopping season did threaten to diminish the heights reached on any given day. Instead, Starbucks saw five of its best visit days since the start of 2017 take place during the 2021 holiday season. Essentially, as the holiday shopping season extended earlier and more to off-peak days, shoppers continued to prioritize a visit to a Starbucks to refuel as part of the shopping trip. 

Impressively, this also happened as visit length dropped over 18% compared to the same quarter in 2019. So although visits were shorter, the number of visits actually grew as the holiday retail period shifted. The success is critical as it shows that Starbucks will adapt to the patterns dictated by the wider retail and work environment.

What Does It Mean Moving Forward?

Starbucks is still operating in a strange and challenging environment where office visits have yet to normalize. As more people return to the office, the drop-in numbers at Starbucks should increase. At the same time, the new balance in favor of remote and hybrid work should create an added incentive to visit nearby Starbucks locations and utilize the café space as a place to work away from home. 

This new balance should help Starbucks thrive through its unique combination of wide reach and multichannel approach that enables it to give its customers what they want – whether it is a convenient cup of coffee on the go or a more extended stay in a location. Combine this with a proven ability to succeed in a shifting retail environment and the reasons for Starbucks optimism in 2022 expand.

How will Starbucks perform in 2022?  

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.
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 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 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 Mall Index: March 2024 Recap – Malls Rise Again 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? White Paper Recap – February 2024
Three Retail & Dining Chains That May Surprise in 2024
Specialty Discount Chains Rock Retail Therapy Mall Index: February 2024 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:’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 Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance 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 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 Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season 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 Office Index: November 2023 Recap
Small Coffee Chains Brewing Big Success White Paper Recap – November 2023
Thanksgiving Travel 2023 Recap