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February 4, 2022

Placer: Superstores Keep Bringing Traffic Back

Posted In: Retail Articles
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According to Placer.ai’s Superstores Quarterly Index for Fourth Quarter 2021 consumer visits to superstores were up 6.8% in the period year over year, up 10.9% compared to the 2020 quarter, and up 5.7% compared to the 2019 period.

The COVID-19 pandemic may even have done many superstore retailers, particularly those that could remain in operation during the period of shopping restrictions, a favor by driving in more foot traffic, and those visitors stepping up earlier look like they are maintaining the habit, Placer observed.

Placer’s definition of superstores includes Big Lots, Target, Walmart, Costco, Dollar General, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, and Five Below, among others, and the traffic tracker’s study demonstrates that overall, footfalls have remained rock solid. One particular segment of strength among the overall superstore sector has been discount stores, as defined by Placer, with Big Lots, Five Below and Dollar General experiencing massive foot traffic growth in the fourth quarter.

According to Placer:

  • Discount superstores led the superstore sector in growth, and some have benefited from huge gains in foot traffic. Big Lots saw visits increase by almost 34% in the quarter year over year, as Five Below had almost 32% growth and Dollar General had a gain a little short of 9%.
  • The new data indicates that the median superstore visit duration is down despite the increase in overall visits. Fourth-quarter 2021 visits were 6.6% shorter compared to those in the 2020 period and 6.4% shorter than they were in 2019, likely because of curbside pickup options and mission-driven shopping habits.
  • Among the top three wholesale retailers, only BJ’s came up short in the fourth past quarter. Visits to Sam’s Club gained 2.4% in the period year over year and 8.5% versus the 2019 quarter, while gains were 6.8% and 7.2%, respectively, at Costco, even as BJ’s store visits slipped 1% quarter-over-quarter even if they still were up 8.7% from 2019 period.
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