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Placer.ai provides retailers with actionable location-based insights into their audience and competition. With unprecedented visibility into humanity-in-action, every retailer can be brilliant at running their business.

Retailers make critical decisions every day whilst in the dark. They do not have answers to seemingly simple questions: Who visits my store? Where do they live, or work? What other locations do they frequent? What’s my churn rate? Where do those lost customers go? What are my competitors up to? And ultimately, how should I deploy my limited resources to grow my business?

Placer.ai provides instant access to location insights derived from the foot traffic of millions of consumers, delivering visibility into offline behavior. We shed light into churn, trade areas, untapped audiences, out-of-store behavior, and competitive benchmarking.

January 20, 2022

January’s Early ‘Returns’

From Placer
The holiday season was impacted by declines in Black Friday visits and a push for an extended holiday retail season. Yet, with Omicron raging, it was difficult to understand which declines were defined by potentially permanent shifts to holiday shopping behavior and which were a direct result of COVID. While the role of rapidly rising cases is critical to understanding retail performance over recent months, the extended season concept indicates that we might see stronger visit metrics in the post-holiday period than we would normally expect.
January 19, 2022 / Business

Coffee’s Remarkable Recovery

From Placer
Our latest white paper dives into the coffee space, which has been flourishing over the past six months despite the successive COVID waves and even as the wider dining category continues to struggle. We dove into the location analytics data to find out – Who is driving the growth? What brands are the main beneficiaries of this foot traffic increase? Are there any regional differences? And what business opportunities does foot traffic data uncover?
January 14, 2022 / Business

Placer Bytes: Office, Theatre Recoveries

From Placer
In this Placer Bytes, we break down the impact of Omicron on the office recovery and check in on the comebacks of AMC and GameStop. When we last checked in on the office recovery in New York City, we discussed the new obstacle caused by the Omicron variant and rising case numbers. And, as expected, the variant did impact the recovery, driving an increased visit gap in December 2021 when comparing visits to the equivalent months in 2019: While visits were down just 35.1%, the gap did increase to 39.7% in December.
January 12, 2022 / Travel

Holiday Travel 2021: Hotels Recovering, Airports Lag Behind

From Placer
The rise of the Omicron variant coincided with the start of the 2021 holiday travel season, and many worried that the rise in cases would throw a wrench into Americans’ much anticipated travel plans. We dove into the foot traffic data to find out – how did the current COVID wave affect holiday travel? Despite the fourth and fifth COVID waves, location analytics data shows that the hotel industry has been on the path to recovery for quite some time. In July, at the height of the summer travel season, all the hotel chains analyzed showed impressive year-over-two-year (Yo2Y) growth in visits.
January 11, 2022 / Business

Placer.ai’s Holiday 2021 Lookback

From Placer
Another holiday season has come and gone, but like the one experienced in 2020, 2021’s iteration was anything but ‘normal’. For many retailers, Thanksgiving was again removed from the mix and the wider season was dominated by concerns over supply chain challenges, labor shortages, and the omnipresent risk of rising COVID cases. And, as perhaps should have been expected considering the 2021 experience, all of these effects were felt. Yet, the situation was hardly doom and gloom, with many retailers seeing exceptional traffic to locations throughout the holiday season.
January 7, 2022 / Business

Placer Bytes: First Watch and Staples

From Placer
In this Placer Bytes, we dive into First Watch, a rising star in the breakfast space, and Staples, a legacy brand that has been making a surprising comeback. Last winter, while the pandemic was still limiting the dining industry, First Watch was continuing with its expansion plans and opening new locations. And although the daytime restaurant concept’s year-over-two-year (Yo2Y) overall monthly visits were up – thanks to the brand’s aggressive expansion – Yo2Y average visits per venue were down by 21.6%, 22.6%, and 15.5% in January, February, and March, respectively, indicating that the brand was definitely feeling the effects of the drastic downturn in diners.
January 6, 2022 / Business

Mall Index – December 2021

From Placer
In late 2020, we discussed our belief that top tier malls would see a very strong recovery in 2021. The pace of the retail rebound was already seeing picking up, and several changes that mall owners had begun instituting years prior were well aligned with how the wider retail space was evolving. From new perspectives on tenant mix to a sharper focus on providing a wider and more holistic shopping experience, there were many reasons for optimism. And looking back at the performance of top malls in 2021 appears to justify that confidence.
January 4, 2022 / Business

2022 Winners – Early Predictions

From Placer
Each year, we kick off our content with a look at the retailers or retail segments we think could dominate the year to come. Last year, we explained why grocers like Publix and Albertsons would thrive, Planet Fitness would drive a major recovery, malls would rebound and a specific group of home improvement retailers would continue to impress. So who should you look out for in 2022? Here’s our list of the brands to watch.
December 23, 2021 / Business

Placer Bytes: McDonald’s and Luxury Retailers

From Placer
In this Placer Bytes, we dive into two ends of the affordability spectrum by looking at McDonald’s recent foot traffic data and analyzing the recovery of leading luxury retailers. For McDonald’s, like for the rest of the dining sector, this year started off difficult in terms of in-location visits. But the fast-food leader saw its traffic increase significantly in July 2021, and visits have stayed in line with 2019 levels ever since.
December 21, 2021 / Business

Wholesale Club – Winter Update

From Placer
When analyzing leading wholesale clubs in the spring, there was a clear sense that the sector was in the midst of a clear and significant recovery. Visits had surged back to growth compared to 2019, and there were real signs that these jumps in traffic could last deeper into the year. A look at these same retailers in the summer only confirmed that assumption. So, as the end of 2021 approaches, we dove back in to see how the sector has performed and what this could mean for the prospects of leading chains in 2022.
December 17, 2021 / Business

CVS and Walgreens Winter Update

From Placer
CVS recently announced its plans to close approximately 900 stores over the next three years, while Walgreens has been expanding and diversifying its store fleet – but both brands have been investing heavily in developing their healthcare offerings. We dove into the foot traffic data to better understand these pharmacy leaders’ pivot into healthcare and to see how location analytics can inform which CVS store closures.
December 15, 2021 / Business

Retail Trends for 2022

From Placer
The pandemic has infused new life into brick and mortar retail. But retail’s potential will not actualize itself – retailers need to actively adapt their strategies and seize the opportunities presented by this unique moment in time. Our latest white paper examines eight key trends that emerged from the pandemic and that will continue to have a major impact on the retail sector going into 2022.
December 14, 2021 / Business

NYC Office Recovery

From Placer
The workplace recovery, which suffered a brief setback in September as the fourth COVID wave swept through the United States, is continuing apace. October visits were down by 47.7% Yo2Y, and the November visit gap shrunk even further to 34.3% – a major leap given that the Yo2Y visit gap had been hovering at around 50% for the previous four months. The fact that office foot traffic bounced back so quickly after this fourth COVID wave indicates that Americans are ready to return to their workplace.
December 9, 2021 / Business

Sportswear and Athleisure Update – Wrapping Up 2021

From Placer
As this year draws to a close, we dove into foot traffic trends for Nike, Under Armour, Athleta, and Lululemon to understand where the athletic apparel industry is headed. We have written about the current trend of digitally native DTC brands expanding into brick and mortar. But another, no less significant trend is underway – brands with extensive wholesale partnerships reducing the number of third-party distributors to focus on DTC brick and mortar and digital distribution channels.
December 8, 2021 / Travel

Thanksgiving Travel Update

From Placer
The days before and after Thanksgiving are some of the busiest travel days of the year – so we took the opportunity to check back in and give an update on the travel and hospitality recovery as 2021 draws to a close. From April to July, the year-over-two-year (Yo2Y) monthly visit gap had been slowly but surely shrinking. But when we last checked in with the travel sector in late August, the summer season seemed to have ended abruptly, as the United States entered its fourth COVID wave.
December 7, 2021 / Business

Black Friday Weekend 2021 Recap

From Placer
Yes, Black Friday marks the height of the holiday season – but the day itself can hardly be taken in isolation. For critical context, we took a look at the wider weekend to see how different the holiday season in 2021 has been. Looking at the Placer.ai Mall Index on Black Friday alone showed visits to indoor malls down just 8.5% compared to 2019, while visits were down 9.2% for outdoor malls. And while the visits marked a significant peak for malls and retailers, looking at the wider weekend metrics paints an even rosier picture.
December 2, 2021 / Business

Beauty Recap

From Placer
Offline beauty visits came roaring back as restrictions on brick and mortar retail began to lift in spring 2021. Since then, foot traffic has remained impressively strong. As the sector heads into a critical holiday season, we dove into the data for Ulta, Sephora, and Sally Beauty to find out how the leading beauty retailers are performing in their owned stores and in their new collaborations with Target and Kohl’s.
December 1, 2021 / Business

Black Friday 2021

From Placer
The expectation heading into Black Friday 2021 was that while the day would continue to drive significant traffic peaks, it was unlikely to reach the standards set in years past. And early data from Black Friday appears to prove this idea correct. Visits for most retailers were up significantly compared to a 2020’s limited Black Friday, but down compared to the equivalent day in 2019 – although there were exceptions to this rule. Walmart saw a 2.8% visit increase, and Target just a 3.1% decline compared to 2019.
November 30, 2021 / Business

Turkey Wednesday 2021

From Placer
While most of the retail world looked anxiously towards Black Friday preparations and results, the grocery sector knows that a far more important day comes before – Turkey Wednesday. Turkey Wednesday marks the day before Thanksgiving when grocers around the country see a powerful visit surge – for some, the pinnacle of their annual visits. How did this key supermarket holiday play out in 2021, and which other sectors benefited?
November 23, 2021 / Business

Checking in with the Grocery Sector

From Placer
Our latest white paper checks in with one of the pandemics major winners – the grocery sector. Following our Summer Grocery update, we dove into nationwide, regional, and brand-level visit data to understand what has changed and what has returned to pre-pandemic patterns. Year-over-two-year (Yo2Y) grocery visits have been consistently up nationwide in recent months, with weekly visits in October surpassing 2019 numbers by 5.2%, 7.1%, 7.2%, and 9.3% for the weeks of October 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th, respectively.