Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

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

The Anchor Recap: September 2023

by 
Ezra Carmel
 on 
October 10, 2023
The Anchor Recap: September 2023

This blog explores some of the past month’s insights from Placer.ai’s executive intelligence report – The Anchor – published weekly by the Placer.ai Analytical Research team. To view full articles from The Anchor or sign up to receive the report before it goes online, visit anchor.placer.ai

Trader Joes: The Secret to Success in 2023

Trader Joe’s has emerged as one of the more disruptive value grocers in 2023 as consumers’ emphasis on bang-for-buck has been one of the major themes of the category this year. Trader Joe’s continued to find success in August as monthly year-over-year (YoY) visits once again outperformed conventional and value-oriented grocery chains.

Trader Joe’s high private label mix (roughly 80%) has allowed the company to keep pricing more competitive than conventional grocers and has certainly played a part in the company’s ability to drive traffic. Word about the brand’s constant innovation in private-label offerings continues to spread, as there are several websites devoted to highlighting Trader Joe’s new products every season.

Ultimately, Trader Joe’s ability to outpace the rest of the grocery category in 2023 comes down to driving traffic from lower-income consumers. Almost all grocery chains have seen a decrease in their trade areas’ median household incomes compared to pre-pandemic levels – likely due to lower-income shoppers visiting a wider variety of stores as they seek out value. However, Trader Joe’s has been an outlier given the 8% decrease in household income from Q1 2019 to Q2 2023.

New visitor acquisition isn’t the only factor driving Trader Joe’s success in 2023. In 2021 and 2022, Trader Joe’s visit frequency declined as the chain started to attract lower-income consumers who were likely to shop around for the best deals. However, visit frequency began to inflect in 2023, suggesting that customers are becoming more loyal as Trader Joe’s proves that it consistently delivers on value. This should serve the chain well as it continues to expand into new markets.

Hispanic Grocery: Customizing the Merchandise Assortment to the Neighborhood

Alongside Hispanic grocery chains that feature specialty departments like tortilleria or cremeria, many conventional grocers are also catering to an increasingly diverse American population. In Houston, TX, Kroger recently revamped a store to suit the area’s majority Hispanic population. With many of the features of a traditional Kroger – like a Starbucks or pharmacy – it also has Spanish-English signage and more Hispanic products and conveniences like ceviche, 17 varieties of fresh-cut queso, and house-made tortillas. Not too far from this recent Kroger revamp is an existing H-E-B-owned Hispanic concept store called Mi Tienda and a La Michoacana location – the largest Hispanic grocery chain in Texas.

Trade Area Analysis of these three locations between September 2022 and August 2023 revealed that the potential market of the Kroger store had a relatively large share of Hispanic residents (57.2%) but a smaller share than the La Michoacana (61.4%) and Mi Tienda (79.6%) locations. It’s likely that part of the strategy behind the Kroger remodel is an attempt to capture some of this Hispanic audience.

Both the Mi Tienda and La Michoacana locations have experienced YoY visit growth most months over the past year, while the Kroger location has seen mild visit gaps. However, YoY visits in August 2023 were up 2.3% for the Kroger store. With the new strategy and offerings that launched in September 2023, the remodeled Kroger could see visits continue to climb.

Five Below: Rising Above

Five Below’s Q2 2023 reporting revealed another set of strong top-line figures fueled by lots of "Wow!" treasure hunt for its customers. The retailer experienced an acceleration in foot traffic – mostly fueled by 12% venue growth YoY – as well as improved comparable transactions (+4.5%) and inventory turns (to 3.7x) which produced solid levels of profitability and cash generation for the company. 

But shareholders and analysts were in for their own "Wow!" moment when management lowered earnings expectations for the rest of the year to account for a greater level of shrink-theft. Despite this challenge, CEO Joel Anderson reported that Five Below kicked off H2 2023 with a strong back to school season and capitalized on Taylor Swift, Super Mario Bros. and Barbie trends.

Flea Markets: The 2023 Bonanza

One of the prevailing themes in 2023 has been that thrift is in style when food inflation is hot. This trend extends beyond off-price and secondhand fashion to include foot traffic to the flea market space. 

According to the National Flea Market Association in 2019, the country's over 1,100 flea markets conduct over $30B in sales annually. If it’s assumed, conservatively, that the industry grew by one-third since then, some $10B in consumer spending has transitioned from conventional retail to the secondary market. A market of that size, growing at a double-digit rate, has the potential to capture a lot of demand from conventional goods.

For more Anchor stories and to register for email-exclusive content, visit anchor.placer.ai.

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.
Text Link
The Anchor
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