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Superstores
Quarterly Index
2021: Q1

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While this remains one of the most difficult groups to define, it’s clear that the brands measured operate on a different level in terms of reach. Considering the trend towards mission-driven shopping, few sectors benefited more than those able to provide a wide array of goods. The benefit to customers was the ability to accomplish as much as possible with a single visit. For the brands themselves, they were able to drive high-quality visits and showed all indications of outperforming on a per-customer basis.

Analyzing dozens of brands including:

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Visits Fall Back Slightly

Severe inclement weather and comparisons to the surge of visits pre-COVID in 2020 likely affected the increased visit gap for this segment in Q1. Yet, it is hard to envision a scenario where these brands don’t thrive in the coming months. They all possess models and approaches that are uniquely oriented to key retail trends, positioning them exceptionally well for the coming year.

“They all possess models and approaches that are uniquely oriented to key retail trends, positioning them exceptionally well for the coming year.”

-1%
The visit gap grew slightly compared to Q4

Normalcy on the Horizon?

Brands within this sector benefited from the unique COVID retail environment that privileged brands with a wide array of goods as part of the wider mission driven shopping trend. Yet, the rise in weekend visit percentage indicates that more consumers are returning to their ‘old ways’. Critically, these brands succeeded during that period as well, but the shift could demand a change in how they operate in the shorter term.

“the rise in weekend visit percentage indicates that more consumers are returning to their ‘old ways’.”

+7%
Weekend visits are on the rise indicating more shopping normalcy

More Increases for Giants

It’s normal to see visit declines from Q4 to Q1 for top brands as the holiday season generally provides a huge peak. But the ability of Target to drive year over year growth in a Q1 defined by severe weather and fewer overall days is especially impressive. As they continue to roll out new channels, and processes, expect this strength to grow.

“But the ability of Target to drive year over year growth in a Q1 defined by severe weather and fewer overall days is especially impressive.”

+3%
Target visits rose 3% YoY

Top of the Retail Mountain

One metric that could throw the entire picture into flux is the continued strength of visit duration for these brands. While some saw declines, Dollar General enjoyed a 4% jump while Walmart, BJ’s, Big Lots and others saw flat YoY numbers. If they prove capable of maintaining extended visit times, the impact on basket size could continue even as visits rise – creating a powerful potential for a big 2021.

“If they prove capable of maintaining extended visit times, the impact on basket size could continue even as visits rise - creating a powerful potential for a big 2021.”

+4%
Dollar General saw a 4% increase in Median Visit Duration YoY

Summary

Even as normalcy returns, the superstore segment is continuing to show its unique strength and potential. Considering the willingness of leaders in this sector to roll out new concepts and the stickiness of their business models, there is little reason to believe that 2021 won’t be even stronger than the year prior.

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