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07/22/2022

Placer.ai: Discount and dollar stores lead the way in Q2 foot traffic

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Family Dollar
Family Dollar led the way in year-over-year foot traffic, with visits up 16.3%.

Concerns about inflation are taking a toll on some retailers — with some notable exceptions.

While many retailers showed a slowdown in foot traffic, discount and dollar stores are clearly carrying the baton for the retail economy heading into the third quarter, according to the latest data from foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai’s Quarterly Indexes.

Foot traffic to discount and dollar stores remains above pre-pandemic levels — significantly, in most cases, the report said.  Visits were up 13.2% during the second quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter and up 8% compared to the year-ago period. They were up 20.5% compared to the second quarter of 2019.

Family Dollar led the way  in year-over-year foot traffic, with visits up 16.3%, followed by Five Below, where visits increased 10.2%, Dollar General saw a 8.5% increase, and Dollar Tree saw visits increase 5.9%.

Discount and dollar stores generally see the biggest spike in visits around December,” the report said.  “But now, dollar and discount stores are back to growth on all fronts — quarter-over-quarter, year-over-year and year-over-three-years. And as consumers look to stretch their budgets, dollar and discount stores are likely to continue seeing elevated traffic numbers in H2 2022.”

Superstores

In Placer.ai’s Quarterly Indexes for superstores, quarter-over-quarter visits were up 9.3%. Visits increased 2.9% year-over-year and 2.3% compared to 2019.  But as rising gas prices and inflation led consumers to consolidate shopping trips.

Wholesale clubs had a rough quarter as shoppers. Second quarter visits were down 4.4% at BJ’s Wholesale Club,  3.2% at Costco and down 2.6% at Sam’s Club year-over-year.  (The report noted, however, year-over-third-year data indicated that the wholesale clubs are still seiing heightned foot traffic relative to their pre-pandemic performance.)

“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,” the report stated. “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.” 

Grocery 

In the grocery sector, overall quarter-over-quarter visits were up 2.9%. They were also up on a year-over-year basis (0.4%), and up 1.8% compared to 2019, before the pandemic.

While visits have shown a decline in recent weeks, Trader Joe’s and Aldi are still seeing sky-high visit levels. During June, Aldi’s visits were up 23.3% compared to 2019, and Trader Joe’s were up 12.2% during the same period.