What a year it’s been! Few people will be sad to see it go and certainly here at Advan we are excited for what 2021 may bring. To cap off the year, we’ve listed below what we think are 5 of the most interesting mobility trends in a year full of unexpected twists and turns. We look forward to more next year!
There is no question that a segment of retail has moved online this year. Offline (i.e.in-store) credit and debit card spending is down 15% year-over-year versus total spend according to transaction data from ConsumerEdge. Foot traffic at consumer discretionary store locations is also 20% lower year-over-year than foot traffic to production locations for consumer discretionary retailers.
Advan analysis of footfall at US airports shows a gradual upward trend in traveller numbers, although volumes still remain significantly depressed compared to March. Comparison with TSA screened passengers shows a very high correlation over time, of over 99%.
After months of travel restrictions and lockdown, there is some hope on the horizon for hotel chains such Hilton. Foot traffic is a very accurate measure of performance for hotels, as well as for cash-heavy businesses such as casinos.
Malls around the US suffered a significant blow during what is usually the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Foot traffic was down 41% year-over-year on Black Friday and 45% on Saturday. As we reported last week, there was a pick-up in traffic during the first three weeks of November as many people opted to take care of their shopping sooner, in order to beat the rush and in anticipation of lock-down orders across the country.
With a new phase of lockdowns beginning across the US, many shoppers have opted to get a jump on Black Friday over the past week. Foot traffic to malls increased steadily across most states other than Texas where case numbers have climbed significantly, although lockdown measures have not yet been imposed. Mall visits in Texas have remained more or less flat since the start of the month.
With the UK now in its second week of nationwide lock-down we are starting to see some familiar patterns of behavior based on analysis of foot traffic data. But there are also some significant differences compared to the first wave. We looked at 5 indices for key sectors. All of our comparisons are against the average footfall in January 2020, as a pre-COVID benchmark.
Among the many social and cultural changes that the pandemic has brought about, arguably the most impactful will be the ways in which it has influenced our decisions about where to live. Not just temporary relocations while we ride out lock-downs and WFH, but permanent migration that will alter how we live and how we spend.
After a dismal April and May, when casinos across the country were closed to visitors, Nevada’s casinos have been slowly recovering. But although many casinos on the strip are now open, foot traffic remains depressed - down 45% year over year in October to date. Around the country, the pace of recovery for the sector has varied significantly by state.
In our recent webinar, we spent some time looking into foot traffic trends at airports in America and Europe. Location data is a very reliable proxy for airline passengers, since there are few reasons to be at an airport other than to board a plane. Precise mapping can filter out people who have come to collect or drop off passengers from those who have passed security in order to catch a flight.
In a previous blog post we talked about how the home improvement sector has been one of the bright spots in the pandemic. Year-over-year foot traffic to building material retailers was up 26% in September.Given this trend, we wanted to look in more detail at one of the most popular companies in the home improvement sector - Ikea.
There’s no question that the retail sector has been hit hard this year. Foot traffic at Macy’s, which was already struggling prior to the pandemic, was down 64% last quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019. Like many of its peers, Macy’s has relied on its online business to bolster revenues during a period when many of its stores were closed.
Are you back in the office? It’s a question many of us find ourselves asking our friends and peers. The answer is, it depends. Each has their own comfort level, and it also depends largely on their role and their employer.
What does a COVID recovery look like for businesses? 6 months after the initial lock-down we know that, in the US, the journey has been remarkably different for different types of businesses. Our foot traffic indices capture trends that show just how varied the path has been. We looked at the percentage change in foot traffic for 5 different sectors during each month of this year.
Like many other sectors, the US car industry saw a sharp downturn in business when lock-down orders and business closures were at their peak in late March and April. Combined sales in April 2020 for the Big 3 US carmakers - GM, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler - were down 63% compared to the previous year according to GoodCarBadCar.net.
A recent article on Wall Street Journal by Peter Grant took an insightful look at how truck stops in the US have been boosted this year, in part due to the increase in demand for e-commerce and delivery. TravelCenters of America (NASDAQ: TA), the largest publicly listed operator of truck stops in the US, saw its share price increase 50% following its quarterly earning announcement in early August.
As we near the last stretch of the US summer season, we looked again at foot traffic data for US airports as one measure of the impact being felt by the travel industry. In our blog post on June 19th, we noted that traffic at US international hubs was severely depressed, with some regional hubs seeing a little more activity.
From the second week of February all four of the chains we analyzed saw a steep and prolonged fall in stock price through to the first week of April, when they began to rebound. Extended Stay America in particular has experienced a healthy share price recovery, with its stock back to only 10% below where it was in February, which is worse than S&P’s 0.9% gain but better than its competitors; Marriott’s share price is still 40% lower than it was pre-COVID and Hilton’s hovering around -30%.
The US faces a deep coronavirus crisis as new cases are surging to record highs in many states. Texas was one of the first states to reopen in May with restaurants, retail stores, malls and even theaters to allow to reopen at limited capacity. Looking at the mid-May data, the foot traffic in Texas at Advan’s consumer discretionary index was down about 35% compared to the pre-COVID era and kept increasing through mid-June, adding a 15% increase to -20%.
The RV market in the US looks like it may have found a new client base during the pandemic. As reported by the New York Times, companies like Cruise America, the largest RV rental company in the US, typically count on overseas visitors for about 40% of their bookings.