Top Retail Brands to Watch in 2022

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Our latest white paper dives into 10 retail brands that have shown significant growth in 2021 and are well positioned for an even stronger 2022. Below we highlight two of these retailers to watch – Blink Fitness and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers. For the full list, download our free white paper here. 

Blink Fitness

According to the National Health & Fitness Alliance, over 20% of pre-COVID fitness club locations have permanently closed since the pandemic began – which means that there will be significant unit expansion opportunities for the fitness chains that have managed to weather the storm. And certain brands – specifically low-cost concepts, that offer memberships starting at $10 per month compared to competitors in the $30-$60 range – are already stepping into the gap. Planet Fitness, for instance – one of the original low-cost gyms with a nationwide reach, opened 132 new units in 2021. Chuze Fitness, an earlier-stage chain, has also been taking over some of the vacancies left by now-shuttered fitness clubs

But the real growth story belongs to Blink Fitness. The chain, which has only been around since 2011, has seen its Yo2Y visits skyrocket this year, with Q4  ‘21 visits 33.0% higher than they were in Q4 ‘19, and Q4 ‘21 visits per unit up 11.8% compared to the same quarter in 2019 – and no sign of slowing down. As consumers cautiously return to gyms in 2022, many will look for affordable, low-commitment alternatives to their now-closed health club – and more affordable club options such as Blink, Chuze, and Planet Fitness may receive a disproportionate portion of these visitation gains.

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

Despite the overall downturn in dining visits over the past two years, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has emerged from the pandemic stronger than ever. The brand has benefited from two key trends in the restaurant industry post-COVID: drive-thru and menu simplicity. The company has drive-thrus at nearly all its locations and is ahead of the curve with its multi-lane drive-thru locations, which will become more prevalent across the industry in the years to come.

Raising Cane’s has been expanding like crazy and plans to grow its store fleet even further in 2022 by adding another 100 stores to the approximately 600 stores it has today. So far, the increase in locations doesn’t seem to have reduced the crowds at the brand’s existing venues – the brand’s average visits per unit numbers have climbed by 23.7% between Q4 2019 and Q4 2021, indicating that these new stores are likely to meet a ready demand. 

And contrary to the QSR industry movement toward more franchised locations, Raising Cane’s growth is expected to come from an increase in company-owned locations – giving the company a major advantage when competing with less-capitalized franchisee groups for new properties

Want to find out what other retailers made the cut?

Download our Top Ten Retail Brands to Watch in 2022 White Paper now. 

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