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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.

December 2, 2022 / Business

Black Friday 2022: Consumers Hear the Call

From Placer
Tight budgets and a smaller emphasis on extending the holiday shopping season early meant all eyes were on Black Friday 2022 for an indication of what lies ahead for holiday retail. And despite the fact that Black Friday 2021 was limited by rising COVID cases and a concerted effort from retailers to shift focus away from the retail holiday, Black Friday 2022 still fell short for most sectors. Still, the retail holiday continues to attract consumers to brick-and-mortar stores, and comparing Black Friday visits to pre-Thanksgiving foot traffic revealed significant visit spikes almost across the board.
December 1, 2022 / Business

Digitally Native Brands: Taking Off, Offline

From Placer
Digitally native brands (DNBs) – or brands that first launch online – take a unique approach to omnichannel business. More than simply drumming up in-store sales, a DNB’s physical presence connects brand and consumers in a way that benefits both offline and online traffic. These stores are well-known for being experiential in nature, and given this past year’s shift in consumer demand from physical goods to experiences, DNBs have the potential to bridge the gap and capitalize during the holiday retail season.
November 30, 2022 / Business

Discount and Dollar Stores Leading the Pack

From Placer
The past few years have been good to the discount and dollar sector. The segment saw heightened visits and store fleet growth in a period marked by a global pandemic and economic uncertainty. Now, we dive into the performance of four major discount chains – Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar (owned by Dollar Tree), and Five Below – to see how the upcoming holiday season might affect visits.
November 24, 2022 / Business

Ulta: A Force to be Reckoned With

From Placer
Over the past few years, Ulta has established itself as one of the nation’s leading retailers. Despite the significant challenges facing discretionary retailers in the wake of COVID and ongoing inflation, the beauty chain continues to experience remarkable growth, with second-quarter net sales increasing 16.8% percent compared to last year. In May, the company launched its own retail media network – utilizing its diverse and expanding customer base to offer partners targeted advertising opportunities, both on and off its website.
November 23, 2022 / Business

Placer Bytes: Starbucks and Department Stores Ahead of Black Friday

From Placer
The holiday season is an important time not just for retailers but for coffee chains as well, as these brands get a boost in foot traffic from thirsty consumers going about their holiday shopping. As Black Friday draws nearer – and with the official kickoff of holiday shopping – we dove into the foot traffic data for department stores and Starbucks to take a closer look at the status of holiday retail thus far.
November 22, 2022 / Business

Foot Traffic Trends Reveal Consumers Ready for Holiday Cheer

From Placer
With COVID concerns fading, many consumers are now ready to enjoy life’s simpler pleasures, from decorating their lawns for Halloween to going to the movies. So while inflation continues to dominate many of the retail headlines, diving into foot traffic trends in key discretionary categories provides plenty of reasons for optimism as 2022’s holiday season picks up steam.
November 21, 2022 / Business

How Retailers Can Win Big By Going Small

From Placer
Our latest white paper takes a closer look at the growing trend of retailers adding small-format stores to their fleets. We dove into the foot traffic data of four leading chains to see how retailers can use small-format stores to increase visit density, cater to niche audiences, and foster brand loyalty. Below is a taste of our findings.
November 17, 2022 / Business

Off-Price, Hibbett, and Dick’s Pre-Holiday Check-in

From Placer
We dove into the foot traffic data to the off-price apparel sector and took a closer look at two leading sports retailers, Hibbett Sports and Dick’s Sporting Goods to see what visits can tell us about the upcoming holiday season. There are four chains that dominate the off-price apparel category – T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, which are owned by the same parent company, Ross Dress For Less, and Burlington. These retailers performed remarkably well during the pandemic, consistently outperforming the overall apparel sector – a trend that has persisted in recent months.
November 16, 2022 / Business

Ho, Ho, Wholesale: Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s

From Placer
Wholesale clubs, which experienced significant foot traffic gains in 2021, continued to outperform pre-pandemic visits for much of 2022. And with inflation still impacting budgets going into the holiday season, consumers are as meticulous about choosing where they shop as they are about finding the perfect gift. We dove into the data for the three leaders in the space – Costco Wholesale, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s Wholesale Club – to take a closer look at the foot traffic trends driving visits as we approach the biggest retail months of the year.
November 15, 2022 / Business

October 2022’s Retail Rebound

From Placer
Retail foot traffic picked up again in October ahead of a much anticipated holiday season. We dove into the visit data to find out which categories are making the biggest comeback and how this year’s extended holiday season stacks up against 2021. September was difficult for much of the retail landscape, as inflation took a toll on consumer spending. But the tide has turned in recently, with weekly visits since mid-October up relative to pre-pandemic 2019. Early holiday shoppers stocking up on gifts and consumers making peace with the current prices drove an October retail rebound ahead of a critical holiday season.
November 10, 2022 / Business

Target and Walmart Ahead of the Holidays

From Placer
With the peak of the retail holiday season kicking into high gear, we dove into the visit performance for two of retail’s giants. In 2021, both Target and Walmart saw uniquely strong performances during Back-to-School season and again in October as retailers pushed to extend the holiday shopping period earlier. Last year’s visit peaks set a critical context for understanding the traffic to both retailers in recent months. Target saw year-over-year (YoY) declines of 0.9% and 2.1% in August and October – relatively minimal considering the heights hit during those months in 2021.
November 9, 2022 / Business

Placer.ai Office Index: October 2022 Recap

From Placer
The office recovery has plateaued over the past couple of months as many workers settle into a hybrid working model, and the pattern largely continued in October. New York City and Chicago saw the smallest year-over-year (YoY) increase in monthly office visits since the start of the workplace recovery in April 2021, with October visits up by only 6.8% and 10.9%, respectively. In Houston and Miami, where the office recovery started earlier and picked up steam faster than in the rest of the country, visits were actually slightly lower this October when compared to last year – a clear sign that the return to office rates are leveling off in some regions – at least temporarily.
November 8, 2022 / Business

Placer.ai Mall Indexes- October 2022 Update

From Placer
The end of the pandemic was supposed to trigger an extended period of retail success, with brands finally seeing the wider constraints of COVID removed. Yet, with the decline of the pandemic came the rise of significant economic headwinds like rising inflation and gas prices. And so the challenges have continued with the retail sector pushing to cope with a seemingly endless period of volatility. But how would malls cope in October following challenging summer months ahead of a critical holiday shopping season?
November 4, 2022 / Business

Americans Double Down on Fitness

From Placer
Health and wellness remains a booming industry in 2022, as more and more Americans prioritize self-care in the wake of COVID. And while online fitness classes still provide a convenient option for many, premature predictions of the demise of the gym have proven greatly exaggerated: People crave community and human interaction – and they’re willing to leave the house to get it. Despite inflation rates hovering above eight percent throughout the summer, a year that started off well for the fitness industry has gotten even better.
November 3, 2022 / Business

CVS and Walgreens: The Wave Continues

From Placer
As the acute phase of the pandemic has waned and life has returned to normal, leading players in the pharmacy space have been forced to confront the challenging retail environment – characterized by inflation and consumer trading down – facing other sectors. Traditional drugstore giants CVS Pharmacy, Inc. and Walgreens Co. have also had to contend with increasing competition from Amazon, Walmart and others. A look at foot traffic for the past few months confirms, however, that despite these challenges, both chains are still experiencing strong performances.
November 2, 2022 / Business

Coffee Chains Brewing Up Visits

From Placer
When we last looked at the coffee segment, several of the biggest players were seeing significant visit boosts driven by their seasonal drink releases. As the holiday season approaches, we checked in again to see how these java giants are faring. Starbucks, the largest coffee chain in the country with almost 16,00 locations, outperformed the wider coffee segment in a challenging economic period. The weeks of October 10th and 17th saw year-over-year (YoY) foot traffic down 7.6% and 8.1%, as the challenging economic context and comparisons to a uniquely successful 2021 limited this year’s visit peaks.
November 1, 2022 / Business

Placer.ai Spotlight: Pizza Players

From Placer
Whether it’s a meal for one or a pie to share, pizza is a staple of the restaurant landscape. We dove into the visit data for four restaurant chains doing exciting things in the pizza category – Taco Bell, Papa John’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, and Pizza Inn – and took a closer look at changes that are driving visits. While the visit metrics don’t fully capture drive-thru, takeaway, or deliveries, the data can still provide a sense of visitation trends in the pizza space.
October 28, 2022 / Business

What Drove COVID-Era Urban Migration Trends?

From Placer
As noted in our Domestic Migration Trends white paper, COVID strengthened, rather than upended, existing migration patterns. Many cities and states that were already attracting new residents before the pandemic saw their inbound migration pick up pace, while some areas where the population was stagnant or declining before COVID saw these negative trends accelerate as well.
October 26, 2022 / Business

Texas Roadhouse Innovations Dishing Up Success

From Placer
When we last checked in with Texas Roadhouse, the steakhouse chain was performing admirably. The brand is still displaying elevated foot traffic levels at a time when many other restaurants are feeling the dual pinch of COVID aftershocks and inflation. Texas Roadhouse’s success is driven in part by its willingness to use technology to drive in-house dining, and recent foot traffic data confirms the strength of the company’s strategy.
October 25, 2022 / Business

Holidays on the Horizon: Mid-Range and Luxury Shopping

From Placer
Our last analysis of department stores highlighted the foot traffic potential for the space heading into the summer months. Now, with the holiday retail season already heating up, we dove into the visit data for department stores as well as upscale shopping corridors to take a closer look at this past summer’s foot traffic and the momentum being carried into the holiday season.