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2022: Q2 Quarterly Index
In Q2 2022, quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) foot traffic to superstores jumped and increased relative to both Q2 2021 and Q2 2019. The category includes retail giants such as Walmart and Target and wholesale clubs like Costco and BJ’s Wholesale Club. Brands in this space may have benefited from the inflation and high gas prices of Q2 2022 by catering to consumers looking to consolidate shopping trips and buy value-priced items in bulk.
Analyzing dozens of brands including:
Visits Rise Again
Year-over-year (YoY) visits started off strong in April but gradually fell as Q2 advanced before finally dipping into the negative in June 2022. And although year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) foot traffic outpaced YoY visits from mid-May to mid-June, Yo3Y visits also fell towards the end of quarter, which could mean that the current downturn in consumer spending is beginning to impact the superstore sector.
Median Visit Length Increases
Median visit length to superstores increased by 4.5% between Q1 and Q2 as consumers took more time in stores filling up their carts in an effort to avoid multiplying trips. So while the median visit length did not quite reach the heights it did in Q2 2021, the rising cost of a tank of gas does seem to be impacting brick-and- mortar consumer habits and leading some shoppers to adopt the mission-shopping behavior seen earlier in the pandemic.
Wholesale Club Visits Remain Elevated
Wholesale clubs posted strong visitation numbers over the pandemic, and YoY comparisons show that visits for BJ’s Wholesale Club, Costco, and Sam’s Club have come down from their COVID peaks. But Yo3Y data indicates that the three brands are still seeing heightened foot traffic relative to their pre-pandemic performance, indicating that the YoY drops of the past quarter are more a product of the success in 2021 rather than a reflection of present weakness.
Target and Walmart Staying Strong
As opposed to pessimistic analyses centered heavily around the stock market, foot traffic data indicates that both Target and Walmart are continuing to experience brick-and-mortar success. Q2 visits to Target – which have been boosted by the brand’s ongoing expansion – have increased 5.1% YoY and 12.8% Yo3Y, while visits to Walmart increased 4.7% YoY and stayed relatively close to Q2 2019 levels. So while the retail challenges of early 2022 may have impacted the brands’ bottom lines in the short-term, both Target and Walmart seem well-positioned to continue playing a key role in the American retail landscape.
Although rising costs and supply chain issues did have an impact on some retailers’ bottom lines, foot traffic data indicates that superstores were one of the major beneficiaries of the economic climate. Rising inflation and gas prices led consumers to consolidate shopping trips and seek out value at retail giants such as Walmart and Target and wholesalers such as Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club.
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