Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

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

The State of the Department Store

by 
Jocelyn Bauer
 on 
September 10, 2020
The State of the Department Store

It was hardly the golden age for department stores before the rise of COVID-19, but the pandemic raised significant questions regarding the future of these stores. So we took a look at two of the most popular department stores across four different states, Kohl’s and Macy’s, to see how both of their nationwide and state recoveries were going.  

Regional Impacts

As we look at performance across different states, we do see an overall trend of recovery  - though local jumps in COVID cases did hurt growth in those regions. 

When looking at Texas, Florida and New York specifically, Macy’s locations generated visits that were closest to 2019 levels in July and August - the best they’ve been since February, pre-COVID.  Macy’s NY locations saw visits that were 39.3% down, while Texas and Florida saw traffic that was 49.9% and 44.8% down, respectively in August. And these numbers are especially impressive considering the jump in cases both Texas and Florida saw in July.

The recovery for Kohl’s has been even more impressive even though traffic for most states fell further away from 2019 levels for the month of August, which was largely due to the comparison to 2019’s stellar back-to-school season. For example, Kohl’s locations in NY drew visits during July that were just 14.7% down from 2019, but that declined to 24.8% down in August.  

Visits for Florida seem to be recovering the quickest, as traffic for all locations was just 22.7% down year over year in August after a difficult July when COVID cases returned en masse in Florida. 

Weekly Recovery 

But looking at weekly visit rates year over year does draw a clear distinction between the performance of both brands. While Kohl’s is seeing a steady rate of growth each week towards 2019 levels, Macy’s has had a more mixed performance. Interestingly, with Macy’s announcing the testing of multiple outdoor center formats, the brand could be looking to replicate some of Kohl’s approaches. The outdoor orientation does look to be helping Kohl’s which saw nationwide traffic down just 26.6% for the week of August 24th.

It’s obvious that geographic location of retailers certainly affects the overall retail recovery, but even the states with a large number of COVID cases are recovering quickly -  a clear and positive indication. Nonetheless, it is equally clear that department stores were hit especially hard in the pandemic, and while their recovery lags behind the wider retail and apparel sectors, they are indeed recovering. While the traditional “department store” concept might be losing some of its appeal, these stores have a unique position to rebrand and evolve into the future.  

So, what does the future of the department store look like? Check back in with 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.
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
Checking in With Nike and Lululemon
Black Friday 2023 Retail Recap
Starbucks’ 2023 Holiday Menu & Red Cup Day Performance
Turkey Wednesday 2023
Who Attended the 2023 Pickleball Championship? 
Three Surprising Holiday Shopping Trends
What’s in Store for Ulta Beauty This Holiday Season?
Best Buy and Department Stores: A Holiday Deep Dive
Discount & Dollar Stores: Strength Toward The End of the Year
The State of Off-Price Retail: Discounts Seal The Deal
Placer Mall Index Recap: October 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: October 2023 Recap
Retail Corridors Ahead of the 2023 Holiday Season
California, Here Gap Comes
Checking in With Home Improvement
Getting Into the Glasses Game: Warby Parker Takes Over
Fitness Positioned for a Strong 2023 Finish
White Paper Recap: October 2023
Coffee Giants Brewing Up Business
Popeyes and Burger King Lead the Way
Diving into Yum!
Looking Ahead to Black Friday 2023
Blockbusters Drive Movie Theater Comeback
Crocs and Boot Barn: Shoe-Ins for Success
McDonald’s and Chipotle's Winning Recipe
The State Of Steak: Checking in With Texas Roadhouse
Pleasant Pastimes: Pickleball Potential Proves Potent
Who’s Driving Downtown Manhattan’s Weekend Revival?
Diving into Downtown Manhattan Foot Traffic Trends
Rite Aid: Rightsizing Right
Major League Soccer: Its Die-Hard and Casual Fans
The Anchor Recap: September 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: September 2023 Recap
Placer Mall Index Recap: September 2023
September White Paper Recap
The Consumer Habits of College Students
JCPenney: Rightsizing and Revitalizing
Pent-Up Demand Ahead of October Sales Events
4 Strategies Retailers are Using to Drive Traffic to Their Venues
5 Key Regional Grocery Players Impressing in 2023
Upscale Kitchenware Trending Up
Costco Finds More Room for Growth
Four C-Store Chains Making an A-Grade
National Parks + Outdoor Summer Activities
Diving Into Darden: Summer 2023 Update
The Summer Event Effect
Messi: Massive in Miami
Looking Back on Back to School 2023
The Anchor Recap: August 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: August 2023 Recap
Placer.ai Mall Index: August 2023 Recap