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Well past the second anniversary of the pandemic, business travel is showing its first significant signs of recovery. As that recovery gains momentum, a new landscape has formed with the presence of both traditional and new forms of business travel. Amid this new landscape, however, there remains mixed consumer sentiment toward business travel as well as a large gap between current volume and pre-pandemic comparables. STR’s consumer research from May 2022 produced telling insights into this always popular topic.


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August 15, 2022 / Business

Help Wanted: Some Advertisers Increase Spending During The Great Resignation

From MediaRadar
Don’t let the recent job growth fool you—the US job market is a dumpster fire. In 2020, the unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since The Great Depression. To add fuel to the fire, many people who received pink slips remained unemployed for more than a year. While the pandemic forced many cash-strapped companies to cut ties with people out of necessity, a lot of people left on their own accord. Enter the Great Resignation, the name used to describe the mass exodus of people quitting their jobs due to dissatisfaction related to pay, growth opportunities, benefits and more.
August 15, 2022 / Economy

Budget grocers weather the inflation storm

From Earnest Research
Earnest data exhibited supermarket spending growth of 5.3% YoY in July, boosted by 7.1% growth in average ticket, offset by a 1.7% decrease in the number of transactions. Ticket growth was yet another acceleration from the 6.2% YoY growth in June; similarly, the transaction decline was another slowdown from -0.9% in June. With price levels on the grocery shelf not seen since March 1979 (Food at Home prices increased 13.1% in July, up from 12.2% in June according to the latest BLS figures) forcing some to trade down into value-oriented items, shoppers may find a better deal by switching to more budget-friendly grocers
August 12, 2022 / Business

Home Improvement Competition Heating Up

From Placer
Home improvement was one of the more successful sectors throughout the pandemic. With lockdowns keeping people at home, many found the time to tackle DIY projects sending visits to home improvement retailers to all-time highs, significantly outperforming pre-pandemic numbers. Now, as lockdowns begin to fade into our memories and with inflation and gas prices causing people to think twice before opening their wallets, we checked in to see how the sector is faring.
August 12, 2022 / Business

Where do we go from here for BNPL?

From Fable Data
Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is the latest reincarnation of consumer borrowing and has quickly dominated the conscience of the consumer, the media, concerned regulators and incumbent mobile/electronic payment platforms and wallets. Here, I briefly trace the origins of consumer debt for context and then bring the narrative forward to a current review of the BNPL landscape and what Fable’s consumer spend data is telling us about BNPL consumers and their usage, its popularity, the effect it is having on established payment providers and what this might mean for the future.
August 12, 2022 / Business

Is Primark hitting its Prime Marks?

From Consumer Edge Research
With inflation in both the US and UK forcing shoppers to trade down for cheaper goods in certain categories, is discount apparel retailer Primark seeing a tailwind from shoppers looking for cheaper apparel choices? In today’s Insight Flash, we look into Primark’s spend growth versus its broader industry and subindustry, trends in average basket, and which brands are most likely to be cross-shopped. In Primark’s core UK market, spend growth on a three-year basis outpaced the broader industry and subindustry pre-pandemic.
August 12, 2022 / Business

Less expensive streaming options Peacock TV and Paramount+ are gaining market share while Disney+ raises prices

From Apptopia
Competition for non-niche streaming video subscription apps is growing, but not just in terms of the number of players - in terms of actual performance. The fastest growing SVOD (subscription video on-demand) apps, by way of in-app purchase revenue, are Peacock TV, Paramount+ and discovery+. Over the past 12 months, they've grown by 133%, 107% and 25%, respectively.
August 11, 2022 / Travel

Consumer Spending Insights: The Tide Turns in Summer Activities 2022

From Yodlee
Not surprisingly, recent economic conditions have affected consumer behavior this summer. On one hand, consumers are ramping up travel and spending in the latest phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, inflation, global uncertainty, and the possibility of a recession seem to be causing some consumers to curtail their spending. Looking at de-identified Yodlee spend data, we’ve found some consumer spending trends that may help investors and strategists uncover new opportunities.
August 11, 2022 / Travel

Labor Shortages Are Causing Turbulence in Air Travel

From Revelio Labs
Summer travel is booming this year, but it’s also been extremely chaotic. Constant flight delays, cancellations, and lost luggage are making post-lockdown travel a nightmare. But new data from the Transportation Department show that airlines, not bad weather, are the ones to blame for recent disruptions. So what happened to airlines in recent years that could have caused this chaos? While the industry started to recover in late 2020, the current headcounts in the US are nowhere near the pre-pandemic level.
August 11, 2022 / Business

Economic Headwinds for Walmart and Target

From Placer
Put lightly, the last few years have been volatile in the brick-and-mortar retail sector. Yet, Walmart and Target, two of the industry’s heavyweights have consistently overperformed. This included a strong showing in the spring of 2022 that came as COVID’s effects were dissipating, creating the sense that retail could finally enjoy a period of extended normalcy. Yet, that period barely had time to take off before rising gas prices and inflation began to impact consumer behaviors and spending.
August 10, 2022 / Business

Five Below has the highest transaction value among discount retailers, but customers shop more frequently at Dollar General

From Second Measure
As inflation continues to rise, many consumers are reportedly turning to discount stores for household essentials. Our competitive analysis of major discount retailers—including Five Below (NASDAQ: FIVE), Dollar General (NYSE: DG), Dollar Tree, Inc (NASDAQ: DLTR), and 99 Cents Only Stores—found that Five Below had the highest average transaction value, but Dollar General had the highest quarterly transactions per customer and quarter-over-quarter customer retention in the second quarter of 2022.
August 10, 2022 / Real Estate

As Expected, Apartment Rent Growth Moderates Slightly in July

From RealPage
Peak apartment rent growth is almost certainly now in the rearview mirror, as nearly all measures of rent growth showed deceleration between June and July. But that’s not to say it’s bargain shopping time, as rent growth remains elevated – and likely will throughout the remainder of 2022. Nationally, effective asking rents ticked up 0.8% between June and July. That amounted to only about one-third the monthly increase seen in July 2021, yet still ranked above any other July (aside from 2021) in the last decade. The deceleration was expected, and aligns with RealPage’s forecasts going into 2022.
August 10, 2022 / Business

Placer.ai Office Indexes: August 2022

From Placer
Two years after the first lockdowns, the return to office question still lingers. Cities and companies are anxious for office occupancy to return to pre-pandemic levels. The majority of workers, however, still prefer to work from home, whether fully remote or hybrid. As we enter the second half of the year, and as the shock of economic shifts brought on by inflation and gas prices levels out, we took a look at recent foot traffic data to offices to see how the sector is performing.
August 10, 2022 / Real Estate

Loan Performance Insights

From CoreLogic
The CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights report features an interactive view of our mortgage performance analysis through May 2022. Measuring early-stage delinquency rates is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market. To more comprehensively monitor mortgage performance, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency as well as transition rates that indicate the percent of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next.
August 10, 2022 / Business

Home Depot mobile growth doubles Lowe’s, year-to-date

From Apptopia
The Home Depot is climbing the ranks of Retail apps. For two quarters in a row, Home Depot gained twice as many new installs than direct competitor, Lowe's. It's was also the 11th most-downloaded Shopping app in the U.S. in Q2 2022, up from #20 a year ago. On average between the two home improvement competitors, Home Depot has pulled in 100% more monthly downloads since January. A paid App Store Optimization (ASO) keyword strategy appears to be a key driver to Home Depot’s comfortable margin ahead of Lowe's this year.
August 9, 2022 / Business

Inflation’s Retail Impact – August 2022 Update

From Placer
U.S. job growth soared in July, as the pandemic-impacted categories of leisure and hospitality bounced back to meet consumers’ continued demand for out-of-the-house experiences. But inflation continues to cut into spending power, with food inflation in particular remaining stubbornly high. We dove into retail foot traffic data to understand how the current dynamics are impacting key consumer-facing industries.
August 9, 2022 / Travel

UK Cancellation Rates Fall and India is Fastest Growing Market

From OAG
This week’s airline capacity numbers look pretty similar to last week's (which in turn were like the previous weeks) and it seemed that we had perhaps peaked at around 102 million seats a week. However, then China reported another lockdown, this time in Hainan, where most areas have been locked down today in response to a domestic COVID-19 outbreak. The impact of the latest lockdown is not reflected in this week’s numbers, but we should expect to see at least a million seats removed next week as the two major airports are impacted.
August 9, 2022 / Business

The Lightning Growth of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

From Consumer Edge Research
With gas prices surging over the last year, electric vehicles are looking more and more like an attractive alternative. But auto manufacturers aren’t the only ones to benefit from their increasing popularity – companies operating charging stations are also primed to take off. In today’s Insight Flash, we compare the success of three top charging station brands, looking at overall growth, changes in average ticket, and popularity by geography.
August 8, 2022 / Economy

Despite strong U.S. employment, rapid Inflation increases risk of eating away paychecks

From Yodlee
Inflation rate in the U.S. rose in August 2021 and continued its upward trajectory on the back of post-pandemic recovery spending, supply constraints and the war in Ukraine, impacting commodities’ supply. While there are multiple forecasts suggesting that the economy might tip into recession as the Federal Reserve takes steps to rein in inflation; the job market, has continued to show strong signs of recovery in 2022.\[1\]
August 8, 2022 / Business

Top Restaurant Chains on Food Delivery Apps in Hong Kong

From Measureable AI
The Hong Kong food and restaurant industry is a monopoly whereby several companies own the majority of the businesses. As such, this makes it difficult to not walk into a restaurant chain in Hong Kong when you dine out. Similarly, on food delivery platforms, choices are limited to several big restaurant chains. Which restaurant chain is winning over the food delivery apps? According to Measurable AI’s transactional e-receipt data, McDonalds, KFC, TamJai, and Cafe de carol are some top restaurant chains on food delivery platforms Foodpanda(ETR: DHER) and Deliveroo(LON: ROO). Let’s look deeper into their market share on each platform.
August 8, 2022 / Economy

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose; Reflections on the Still-Cooling But Strong Job Market

From LinkUp
As we stated in a blog post last June, and it’s even more the case today, at no time in the past 20 years has the intensity of the focus on the job market been stronger. While the economy has successfully recovered from the Covid cataclysm, our landscape has been permanently altered by the tectonic shifts that rocked the world and deep aftershocks continue to reverberate throughout every aspect of post-pandemic (maybe some day?!) life.