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Placer

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.

August 25, 2022 / Business

Petco Barking Up the Right Tree

From Placer
The rise in retail foot traffic and consumer demand in the pet sector has been a recurring theme since the early days of the pandemic. With Petco building on the success of its pet wellness and omnichannel ecosystem, we dove into the recent visit data and took a closer look at the chain’s launch into smaller, rural markets. Pet adoptions surged in the early stages of the pandemic, driving significant foot traffic to Petco. As the majority of these pets remain in their new homes, overall visits to Petco are continuing on their positive trend in comparison to 2019.
August 24, 2022 / Business

Lipstick Effect Boosts Ulta’s Growth

From Placer
Beauty products are often seen as an “affordable luxury,” and shoppers looking for budget-friendly splurges are increasing their offline beauty visits even as discretionary spending in other categories drops. To better understand the current beauty surge, we dove into Ulta Beauty’s year-to-date foot traffic performance to see how the wider economic situation is boosting this already strong retailer.
August 23, 2022 / Business

Placer Bytes: DICK’s Sporting Goods and Hibbett Sports

From Placer
The sporting goods space had a particularly strong 2021 as consumers stocked up on home workout equipment during the pandemic. With fitness foot traffic on the rise, we dove into the visit data for two leading sporting goods brands – DICK’s Sporting Goods and Hibbett Sports – and took a closer look at the trends driving brick-and-mortar visits to the chains. Though offline fitness has returned, year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) visits to DICK’s and Hibbett demonstrate that the chains are maintaining their pandemic-driven gains.
August 19, 2022 / Business

Dollar General in Command

From Placer
As consumers look to maximize their spending power amidst record inflation, discount stores have become increasingly attractive to bargain shoppers. Dollar General has long been synonymous with dollar stores, and in recent years, the chain has charted a course to expand beyond the dollar store category and into the discount grocery and home goods spaces. We dove into the foot traffic data to explore how Dollar General is cementing itself as a true one-stop shop for the value-oriented consumer.
August 18, 2022 / Business

Department Store 2022 Summer Update

From Placer
With the most recent department store visit data, we dove into the impact of rightsizing measures and looked at the particularly strong foot traffic to higher-end chains to understand how the category is dealing with the current economic situation. Department stores had a rough start to the year due to the January Omicron wave. And although visits began picking up in February, March’s inflation and fuel price surge opened the year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) visit gaps again. Now, following a difficult May and June, the Yo3Y visit gaps began narrowing once more.
August 17, 2022 / Business

Off-Price Apparel Foot Traffic on The Rise Again

From Placer
Off-price apparel was a pandemic winner, exhibiting remarkable imperviousness to some of the wider brick-and-mortar challenges. And now that the economic situation has shifted, off-price retailers remain an attractive option as consumers seek to refresh their wardrobes without breaking the bank. We took a look at the latest foot traffic data to understand how the combination of inflation, supply chain woes, and residual pandemic effects are continuing to drive visits to the sector.
August 16, 2022 / Business

Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club Maintain Pandemic Gains

From Placer
Wholesale clubs like Costco Wholesale, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and Sam’s Club were some of the big winners of the pandemic’s shift to mission-driven shopping, and that strength carried throughout 2021. Early 2022 data indicated that the category was undergoing a mild correction following the record-breaking foot traffic numbers of the previous year. But comparisons to pre-pandemic metrics showed wholesale remaining strong despite the rise in inflation and gas prices. Now, as retail visitors continue tightening their budgets in the face of high consumer prices, we checked in to understand how the economic headwinds are impacting the three wholesale giants.
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 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

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 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 5, 2022 / Business

Placer.ai Mall Indexes: July 2022 Update

From Placer
When we last looked at the Placer.ai Mall Indexes, a clear decline was taking place, driven heavily by high gas prices and continued inflation. Yet, at that time there was also an expectation that July could be even worse, in particular because of continued economic headwinds and in comparison to a very productive July 2021. Yet, the result was far more positive than expected.
August 4, 2022 / Business

Placer.ai Spotlight: Subway’s Rightsizing and Innovations Drive Visits

From Placer
Subway has made headlines for both its store closures and creative menu updates, so we decided to dive into recent foot traffic data to understand how these changes are impacting Subway visits nationwide. Rightsizing has been classically seen as a softer terminology to discuss store closures. But there is a significant trend of rightsizing that is more focused on optimization. Foot traffic data shows that Subway’s overall visits are down year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) while Yo3Y visits per venue are nearing or exceeding 2019 levels.
August 3, 2022 / Business

Movie Theaters Summer 2022 Update: Recovery and Consumer Trends

From Placer
With our latest location data, we analyzed foot traffic for three leading theater chains – AMC Theaters, Regal Cinemas, and Cinemark – to see how the movie theater recovery is progressing and to understand how inflation and changes in media consumption are impacting the behaviors of moviegoers. Year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) data for the first half of 2022 shows that visits to the three leading movie theater chains are steadily rising to pre-pandemic levels.
August 2, 2022 / Business

Popeyes, KFC, and Taco Bell Prove Diverse Menus Matter

From Placer
We dove into foot traffic trends for Popeyes, KFC, and Taco Bell to see how menu changes impact visits. Although the data presented here does not include all drive-thru and pick-up orders – and so does not represent the totality of the brands’ foot traffic – these metrics still show how a single popular item can significantly boost traffic across a QSR brand.
July 29, 2022 / Business

Offline Fitness Has Returned

From Placer
Our latest white paper dives into the spectacular return of the offline fitness industry. We looked at overall fitness visit patterns, regional variance trends, and changes in gym-goer behavior to analyze how consumers’ relationships with health clubs have evolved as a result of the pandemic. We also explored the impact inflation has on the sector to understand how fitness consumer behavior is adapting to changing economic circumstances. Below is a taste of our findings – for the full report, read the white paper here.
July 28, 2022 / Business

Manhattan and Brooklyn’s Pandemic Recovery

From Placer
In the early days of the pandemic, amidst the lockdowns, population exodus, and mounting daily COVID cases, many predicted that New York City was finished. But as it turns out, it takes more than a global pandemic to destroy the city that never sleeps. Using foot traffic data, we dove into recent retail, tourism, and migration patterns for Manhattan and Brooklyn to understand how the past two years have impacted these iconic urban hubs.
July 27, 2022 / Business

Grocery Update: A Regional Analysis of Inflation and Foot Traffic

From Placer
As inflation spiked in the first half of 2022, grocery shoppers nationwide felt the pinch at the checkout. We conducted a regional analysis of grocery foot traffic data to examine the effect inflation is having in various markets and recapped Q2 2022 visit data for the category as a whole to offer a forecast for the coming months. Inflation remains at the forefront of retail news, with the consumer price index (CPI) jumping 9.1% in June – representing the highest level in almost 40 years.
July 26, 2022 / Business

Placer.ai Spotlight: Kohl’s Comeback Potential

From Placer
Our last check-in with Kohl’s in January analyzed the likelihood of continued recovery for the chain’s in-store visits. As the Back-to-School season ramps up, we thought it a good time to revisit the brand’s foot traffic and look at what steps Kohl’s is taking to maintain its position as a major player in the department store space. Kohl’s potential for a comeback is fueled by the brand’s strong position in the department store space.
July 22, 2022 / Business

Visits to McDonald’s and Chipotle Outpace Category Peers in Q2 2022

From Placer
In this Placer Bytes, we take a look at the offline performance of two restaurant leaders, McDonald’s and Chipotle, to see how they’ve fared in Q2 2022. McDonald’s has long been an industry leader, with over $23 billion in sales in 2021. The fast food giant has the most locations of any restaurant in the country after Starbucks and Subway, even though it has been shrinking its store fleet in recent years. But despite its smaller physical footprint, the QSR leader has seen its year-over-year (YoY) and year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) visit numbers grow in recent months while outpacing foot traffic trends to the wider QSR category.