Consumers are putting their toes in the water again, actually their whole feet, and into brick and mortar stores more and more.  Still lagging pre-pandemic levels overall,  there definitely is an improvement in foot traffic numbers.  Here is a collection of observations from various sources.

  • According to Springboard, which tracks retail traffic, the week of 2/6-2/12 store traffic increased by more than 20% 6 out of 7 days and for the week in total showed a 23.4% increase over the previous week.  Overall foot traffic was up by more than 100% YoY, still below 2019, but gaining on it. And it continued to increase, up 5.3% Presidents Day week vs the previous week.
  • And while January showed a drop from December in-store traffic, January 2022 was up 14.8% vs January 2021.
  • Costco saw increased foot traffic vs. 2019 every month in 2021 and it continued into 2022 with January outpacing January 2019 by 2.8%.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods was up 1.9% in January vs. January 2019.  And Planet Fitness was up 2.8%.
  • Home furnishing brands were on an extended roll throughout 2021. Visits to Home, HomeGoods, and Floor & Decor saw growth every month of 2021 on a year-over-two-year (Yo2Y) basis, and their strength continued into 2022: In January ‘22, Yo2Y visits rose by 2.8%, 7.3%, and 58.4% for At Home, HomeGoods, and Floor & Decor, respectively.
  • Walmart’s visits were down 3.1% in January compared to January 2020, while Target’s were up 6.2%. In fact, Target has attracted more visits than it did prior to the pandemic on a monthly basis for 11 months straight.  On a year-over-year basis, both brands drew higher traffic. In January, visits at Walmart were up 3.6% compared to 2021 and up 3.9% at Target. Both made traffic YOY traffic gains in December, with Walmart up 10.8% and Target up 9.9%.
  • And the increase continues into February, for Presidents Day in particular, with a jump of 130% for Dicks, 65% for Target and 39% for Costco on February 21, 2022 vs. February 2020.
  • Foot traffic to gyms has almost recovered, only at 3% below 2019 levels. However it varies by price points with lower cost chains performing better and mid-priced chains having a harder time. Foot traffic for Planet Fitness (memberships about $10), has surpassed 2019; while 24 Hour Fitness (memberships at about $50) is still behind.

What does the foot traffic future hold?

We expect that over the next 3 to 5 years, ecommerce will level off at about a quarter of retail sales overall, varying by category.  While consumers appreciate the convenience of online buying, many still want to shop in-store.  A recent Morning Consult survey showed that 41% of U.S. shoppers preferred brick and mortar and 29% preferred online, with the rest not showing a preference.  It does vary by age and income as the graph below shows.

Driving consumers to in-store experiences will continue to be a critical piece of any brand’s marketing strategy.

How can Marketsmith help?

Marketsmith has proven our ability to scale and grow brands specifically through DTC marketing, as evidenced by our success stories. We have the ability to leverage our unique data science solution through Media Mix Modeling to identify the core sales drivers and predict outcomes across a vast range of scenarios – helping to drive more traffic to both physical store locations and ecommerce. Contact us to let us walk you through how we can predict your media outcome with 94% accuracy*.

*Confidence level is reliant on client data length of history and availability.