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Superstores
Quarterly Index
2021: Q2

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Most superstores carry groceries and/or pharmacy products and remained open throughout the pandemic. As a result, the main impact on the sector was similar to the impact on grocery stores – mission-driven shoppers made fewer and longer trips. Now, foot traffic data indicates an end to mission-driven shopping and a return to normalcy, with many brands emerging stronger now than in 2019.

Analyzing dozens of brands including:

Visits Rise Again

Most superstores remained open throughout the pandemic – but their visits took a hit as mission-driven shoppers made fewer trips and stocked up more on each visit. Now, the large increase in quarterly visits compared both to last quarter and last year indicates that customers’ shopping habits are back to normal.

“The large increase in quarterly visits compared both to last quarter and last year indicates that the customers’ shopping habits are returning to normal patterns.”

+12.5%
Visits in Q2 rose by 12.5% Compared to last year

Normal Shopping Habits Return

Throughout the pandemic, weekend visits took a bigger hit than weekday visits as Americans stuck at home looked for any excuse to get out of the house and break up the monotony. But since workplaces and other venues began opening back up in Q2, Americans have been returning to their pre-pandemic shopping routines, with weekend visits on the rise once again.

“Weekend visits rose in Q2, indicating that Americans are returning to their pre-pandemic shopping habits.”

+17.3%
Weekend visits increase by 17.3% Year over Year

Median Visit Duration Falls

While visits rose across the board compared to last quarter, the median visit duration fell almost everywhere – indicating that customers are no longer limiting their number of visits and attempting to squeeze the most out of every trip. The impact is that while visits are rising, basket sizes could ‘normalize,’ shifting shopping patterns back to pre-pandemic standards.

“Visits rose across the board compared to last quarter, the median visit duration fell almost everywhere – marking the end of mission-driven shopping.”

-2.8%
Average change in median visit duration across the sector down by 2.8%

Biggest Q2 Winners

Some brands that have seen double-digit jumps in visits compared to 2019 early in the pandemic are holding on to their gains so that YoY and QoQ growth looks deceptively moderate without the context of 2019. When drawing the year-over-two-year comparison, however, four brands stand out with impressive gains in visits: BJ’s Wholesale Club, Big Lots, Five Below, and Dollar General. All four brands continue to show quarterly growth in visits, so their current strength might be just the beginning.

"Some brands that have seen double-digit jumps in visits compared to 2019 early in the pandemic are holding on to their gains.”

+31.2%
Five Below’s quarterly visits grew by 31.2% compared to 2019

Summary

While most superstores did quite well this past quarter, Five Below and Dollar General did remarkably well, with a double-digit increase in visits compared to Q1 2021. Q3 will be the test to see if the sector retains its gains as normalcy continues to return.

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