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The phrase “no place like home” took on new meaning for many at the height of the pandemic, with much of the country pivoting to a new normal of quarantine and remote work. Some of the biggest beneficiaries of this development were the Home Improvement and Home Furnishing sectors as consumers increasingly took on DIY home projects and invested in home offices—to the tune of $420 billion last year.

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September 22, 2021 / Business

Pumpkin spice and everything nice for Starbucks sales during fall menu launch

From Second Measure
The return of the pumpkin spice latte—or “PSL” to its loyal fans—is heralded as the unofficial start of fall. Starbucks and Dunkin are two of the largest coffee chains known for selling this seasonal treat. But does the return of the PSL affect sales at these two companies? Consumer transaction data found no major changes in week-over-week sales when Dunkin introduced its fall 2021 beverages, while Starbucks experienced a modest sales bump the same week that PSLs returned to its menu.
September 22, 2021 / Business

Placer Bytes: Nike and Under Armour

From Placer
Athleisure – and workleisure – are having a moment. After the long months of shelter-in-place, many consumers are looking for clothes that make them look presentable without sacrificing the comfort they got used to during the lockdowns. But is the surge in athleisure translating to offline success for bona fide sportswear brands? We dove into visit trends at Nike and Under Armour to find out. The nationwide apparel recovery as a whole has been slower than in other industries.
September 22, 2021 / Business

New Gig Company Laws, New Spending

From MediaRadar
The heat between gig companies and worker rights groups is intensifying. And the ad numbers show it. Last year, businesses like Uber and Lyft contributed a record-breaking $200 million to the Prop 22 campaign in California, which allowed the companies to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees. As similar legislation gets closer to the ballot in Massachusetts, how much money will these companies shell out?
September 22, 2021 / Business

Pay hikes and hiring surges: tracking Amazon’s recruitment woes

From LinkUp
Another day, another Amazon headline. The world’s largest online retailer is making new again, this time with their recently announced plans to hire more than 125,000 warehouse and transportation workers. Delving into our data we can see a 13% increase in production occupations. While this number was not even close to the 125,000 roles they plan to increase, it does tell us they are definitely increasing hiring. We would anticipate more listings for production occupations will likely be posted in the future.
September 22, 2021 / Travel

How COVID19 impacts airline flight scheduling

From ForwardKeys
One of the main objectives of airline carriers is to optimize revenue, which they accomplish by deciding on what flights to operate, when and with what aircrafts depending on demand. Airline capacity is used by many tourism businesses as a proxy for the number of travellers that will be in a destination. It seems like a safe number to work with, as airline schedules are considered to be quite static. However, that time is long gone, the global trend of using big data for more exact planning and forecasts have been picked up by the airlines, which means that they do regularly change flights.
September 22, 2021 / Real Estate

Single-Family Rent Growth Hits 16.5-Year High

From CoreLogic
U.S. single-family rent growth increased 8.5% in July 2021, the fastest year-over-year increase in 16.5 years, according to the CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index (SFRI). The index measures rent changes among single-family rental homes, including condominiums, using a repeat-rent analysis to measure the same rental properties over time. The July 2021 increase was nearly five times the July 2020 increase, and while the index growth slowed last July, rent growth is running well above pre-pandemic levels when compared with 2019.
September 22, 2021 / Business

Can Quick Delivery Promises Grow Grocery?

From Consumer Edge Research
Last week, Kroger made headlines when it announced the launch of its Delivery Now service, promising groceries delivered in 30 minutes or less. Grocery has been one of the many industries benefitting from the surge of online shopping over the last year and a half, but can Kroger’s gambit add a second burst to the trajectory? And could it be a model for other players both in the US and overseas? In today’s Insight Flash, we look at how grocery spend has grown by channel in the US versus UK, what the average ticket is for third-party delivery versus the Grocers’ direct channels in both markets
September 21, 2021 / Business

Darden Restaurants Summer Update

From Placer
When we last looked at the Darden Restaurant Group, year-over-two-years visits to Longhorn Steakhouse were up but many of the parent company’s other restaurants were struggling. With September almost behind us, we analyzed the data to see how the summer has treated some of the group’s best known dining brands. Although the restaurant industry appeared to be making a full visit recovery in early July, the year-over-two-year growth in visits was short-lived.
September 21, 2021 / Culture

This Week’s COVID Numbers Are a Mixed Bag

From Kinsa
It’s a mixed bag of COVID news this week: Nationally, overall illness stats looked promising, with COVID cases and hospitalizations both decreasing. And while this is excellent news, the declining numbers obscure a more significant illness trend. Many regions across the country see increasing levels of illness. The downward trend in overall numbers is due to illness levels decreasing in highly-populated and hard-hit areas like Florida, California and Texas.
September 21, 2021 / Business

Total Construction Starts Decline in August

From Dodge Analytics
Total construction starts fell 9% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $782.8 billion, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. All three sectors lost ground during the month: nonbuilding starts were down 2%, residential starts were 9% lower, and nonresidential building starts fell 13%. “Construction starts have hit a rough patch following the euphoria seen in the early stages of recovery from the pandemic,” stated Richard Branch, Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics.
September 21, 2021 / Business

Affirming Amazon’s BNPL Play

From Consumer Edge Research
The recently announced partnership between Amazon and Affirm for the latter to provide shoppers with Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) options on purchases over $50 dominated headlines. But does a company as large as Amazon really need the extra support from point-of-sale-lending? In today’s Insight Flash we dig into the specifics of the partnership, looking at cross-shopping trends between the two merchants, which subindustries see the biggest gaps in average ticket from BNPL shoppers, and repeat usage behavior from BNPL services.
September 20, 2021 / Travel

Gloomy picture for business travel, but a small ray of hope

From STR
With summer ending and the much-needed leisure travel surge waning, much of the industry’s attention and focus shifts to business travel. For true recovery to occur, the travel and hospitality industry needs to see business travel return to pre-pandemic levels. Unfortunately, the prospects for such a return do not appear good at the moment. The Delta variant continues to disrupt the reopening of economies in many parts of the world and, indeed, some countries are grappling with previously unseen levels of infections.
September 20, 2021 / Business

Furniture Retailer Showdown: Overstock vs. Wayfair vs. Amazon vs. Ikea

From Similarweb
With the pandemic spurring more and more people to move into new, and often larger homes, outfitting these living spaces has become top-of-mind. However, with the rise of eCommerce, in-store furniture shopping has become passé – consumers are going digital instead. To help brands and retailers navigate this changing landscape, we’ll analyze the digital performance of top online furniture sites, using our eCommerce solutions, Research and Shopper Intelligence.
September 20, 2021 / Real Estate

Student Housing Sees Highest Rent Growth in Years

From RealPage
After a year of ups and downs, student housing operators wrapped the Fall 2021 leasing season strong in terms of pricing. Student housing rents ended the leasing season up 2.3% from the previous August, the best year-end rent growth since 2016 when rent growth hit 2.6%. This year’s strong rate also stands in contrast to 2020’s lackluster year-end rent performance of 1.2%. It’s hard to image how Fall 2021’s rent performance could be any more encouraging after a year of uncertainty caused by the global pandemic. Fall 2021 annual rent change is the second-best of the last decade.
September 20, 2021 / Business

Fitness Summer Update

From Placer
When we last checked in with the fitness industry, the sector was slowly making a comeback – although visits still lagged behind 2019 figures. Now, over a year and a half after COVID first hit the United States, we dove into the data to understand how this hard-hit industry is faring under the new normal. The fitness sector suffered a heavy blow over COVID. As health clubs closed throughout the country went into lockdown, many gyms could not afford to stay in business – according to one study, 22% of gyms have shuttered permanently since the start of the pandemic.
September 20, 2021 / Business

NFL Agrees on Betting Partners: Ad Dollars are Flowing

From MediaRadar
The NFL season is back this year with several changes. One of the most significant changes is the sports league’s stance on betting. Up until this year, the NFL has opposed legalized betting. But this year, the league announced that it signed deals with three Official Sports Betting Partners—Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel. With this change, we’ve seen programmatic advertising in this category increase 157% year-over-year, with DraftKings in the driving seat.
September 20, 2021 / Real Estate

How Homebuyer Migration Changed in 2021

From CoreLogic
The pandemic has influenced homebuyers’ decision on where to buy a home. Our previous analysis showed that homebuyers who relocated to another metro in 2020 were often choosing metros that were either adjacent to their current location, had a lower cost of living or both. Although homebuyers were considering affordability and proximity while buying homes even before COVID-19, the migration rate grew during the pandemic. With the combination of low inventory, low interest rates and a shift to a more flexible working environment
September 17, 2021 / Business

Eyewear sales rising as Warby Parker sets sights on IPO

From Second Measure
Warby Parker—a Digitally Native Vertical Brand (DNVB) specializing in eyewear—has visions of an IPO. Warby Parker is known for its at-home try-ons and its “buy a pair, give a pair” initiative. The DTC company started in ecommerce and later became omnichannel, with a network of stores throughout the U.S. Consumer transaction data shows how sales have grown at Warby Parker during the pandemic, as well as how the company stacks up against other eyewear competitors.
September 17, 2021 / Real Estate

September Rent Payments Mostly Get Back on Track

From RealPage
After rent collections at the country’s professionally managed apartments got off to a rough start in September, payment levels climbed sharply during the second week of the month. Results still were not quite back to normal, however, due to difficulties in markets hit hard by Hurricane Ida. Looking specifically at market-rate projects where RealPage software is used to manage the property, the share of households making September’s rent payment by the 13th was off 1.8 percentage points from year-earlier results.
September 17, 2021 / Real Estate

US Commercial Mortgage Loan Losses in the Covid Crisis

From Real Capital Analytics
A year and a half into the Covid-19 pandemic and loss rates for U.S. commercial real estate loans are not looking that bad. With the exception of the hotel and CBD office sectors, loss rates so far are well below the pace set through this stage of the Global Financial Crisis. The macroeconomic factors driving loan performance were simply different in this downturn. Investor tolerance for risk has followed a unique path during the Covid-19 downturn, one that varies from that seen during the GFC.