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Superstores
Quarterly Index
2021: Q3

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Along with grocery and home improvement, superstores also received a pandemic boost – and visits may not have peaked yet. Visits in both Q2 and Q3 were higher than they were in the same quarter in 2020 and 2019, and superstores exhibited quarter-over-quarter growth, indicating that the sector still has potential. The ability to turn the short-term opportunity driven by essential retail status and mission driven shopping into a longer term trend speaks to the unique strength of this category’s leaders.

Analyzing dozens of brands including:

Q3 superstore visits increased by 7.6% compared to 2019 – the same year-over-two-year increase seen in the grocery sector. This indicates the unique ability of this sector to turn short term opportunities into a foundation for longer term strength. The combination of the Back-to-School season and the wider retail reopening seems to have provided significant strength to chains in the space.

 
 

Significant Yo2Y Increase in Visits

"Superstore visits increased in Q3 by 7.6% compared to 2019 – the same year-over-two-year increase seen in the grocery sector."

+7.6%
Significant Increase in Visits Compared to 2019

Dramatic Jump in Weekday Visits

The growth in weekday visits was nearly double the growth in weekend visits in Q3, continuing the pattern established in the previous quarters of 2021 and in the other retail sectors. Compared to the grocery sector, the growth in weekday superstore visits was greater and the growth in weekend visits was smaller, showing that despite the similarities, shopping patterns are not identical in both categories.

"The growth in weekday visits was nearly double the growth in weekend visits."

+9.0%
9.0% increase in Yo2Y Weekday Visits

Drop in Median Visit Duration

The median duration of visits to superstores dropped in Q3 not only in relation to Q3 2020 – indicating the end of mission-driven shopping – but also in relation to Q3 2019. The shorter, more frequent visits are reminiscent of the change in visit patterns to home improvement stores. And like for home improvement, the change in superstore visit patterns may indicate that consumers are increasingly integrating superstore shopping trips into their regular shopping routines, and are no longer limiting their visits to when they need to do a major restocking.

“The median duration of visits to superstores dropped in Q3 not only in relation to Q3 2020 – indicating the end of mission-driven shopping – but also in relation to Q3 2019."

-4.1%
4.1% drop in median duration of superstore visits

Visit Growth Across the Board

Year-over-two-year visits increased in Q3 to all of the chains analyzed. Both the discount superstores and the wholesale club brands saw a significant increase in foot traffic, showcasing the current strength of the sector. Five Below led the visit growth, with a year-over-two-year visit increase of 36.6%. Dollar General trailed close behind, with a 25.9% growth in visits compared to 2019.

"Both the discount superstores and the wholesale club brands saw a significant increase in foot traffic, showcasing the current strength of the sector.”

+36.6%
+36.6% increase in Yo2Y Visits to Five Below

Summary

Along with grocery and home improvement, superstores also received a pandemic boost, with year-over-two-year visits rising significantly for both wholesale club retailers and discount superstores. And foot traffic data shows that consumers are increasingly incorporating superstore visits into their regular shopping routines, indicating that the sector’s current strength is here to stay.

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