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January was encouraging for the restaurant industry. With same-store sales growth of -4.9% and traffic growth of -12.2%, it was the best performance for restaurants since the beginning of the pandemic almost a year ago. This is good news for an industry that struggled the last two months of 2020, as sales and traffic growth worsened compared to the COVID-era peak achieved in October. Likely contributing to some of the consumer pent up demand for restaurant spending was a combination stimulus check distribution, a sense of optimism from turning the page on 2020 and the increased prospect of additional government aid soon.

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March 12, 2021 / Culture, Economy

30-Somethings Behind February Surge in Parks Usage

From Huq
Amid the recent warm weather, roadmap announcements and continuing restrictions, park usage has increased significantly during February. Building on our recent coverage of this trend, new data from Huq Industries reveals that the driving force behind park visits are those in their 30s, out-stripping those in their 40s by 15pts and those in their 20s by 20pts.
February 19, 2021 / Culture, Business

Planet Fitness and the Return of the Gym

From Placer
Admittedly, we have high hopes for the gym sector and for Planet Fitness specifically. But there are reasons for the excitement and January data shows both why we are particularly optimistic, and why that optimism may be difficult to see upon initial glance. Looking at Planet Fitness monthly visits year over year paints a very clear, if not expected, picture. The brand kicked off 2020 with huge amounts of visit growth before quickly and obviously succumbing to the damaging effects of COVID.
February 18, 2021 / Culture, Business

Restaurant Guests Remain Hyper Focused on Cleanliness and Safety

From Black Box Intelligence
January was encouraging for the restaurant industry. With same-store sales growth of -4.9% and traffic growth of -12.2%, it was the best performance for restaurants since the beginning of the pandemic almost a year ago. This is good news for an industry that struggled the last two months of 2020, as sales and traffic growth worsened compared to the COVID-era peak achieved in October. Likely contributing to some of the consumer pent up demand for restaurant spending was a combination stimulus check distribution, a sense of optimism from turning the page on 2020 and the increased prospect of additional government aid soon.
February 17, 2021 / Culture, Business

Valentine’s for Bumble

From Earnest Research
It seems that not even a global pandemic can keep people off dating apps – as female-marketed Bumble lands an $8B valuation in its IPO. In the last four years Bumble has grown from low single digits to capture 13% of the dating market by sales, while eharmony, Zoosk, and other* smaller services saw their shares decline.
February 12, 2021 / Business, Culture

Consumers Spend 2.3 Billion Hours in Mobile Shopping Apps in a Single Week

From AppAnnie
Mobile retail scales new heights in 2020 as COVID closes physical stores. Consumers also begin experimenting with next-gen smartphone shopping habits: social commerce and livestream shopping. It's become a cliche to talk about how 2020 accelerated consumers towards a new (digital) normal. But this was never more true than in retail. In our State of Mobile 2021 report, we showcase how 2020 came to be the biggest mobile shopping year to date. Global time spent in shopping apps (outside of China) grew 45% year over year.
February 9, 2021 / Culture, Business

New Year, New Gym?

From Consumer Edge Research
January has historically been the Black Friday of the fitness industry, with New Year’s Resolutions spurring an increase in gym memberships and athletic equipment purchases. COVID-19 has changed the dynamics dramatically for these subindustries, but can January resolutions at least provide a temporary adrenaline boost for Athletic Clubs? In January 2021, the number of individuals paying for Athletic Clubs showed a dramatic decline of -45% y/y.
February 8, 2021 / Culture, Business

HBO Max outspends Disney, Amazon for January’s highest-spending digital advertiser

From Pathmatics
New streaming brands such as Peacock TV, Discovery Plus, Apple TV+, and Disney+ have hit the advertising circuit heavily since launching in 2020 — but none (including usual heavy hitters Netflix and Hulu) have spent more in 2021 than HBO Max. In fact, HBO invested 89% of its digital ad spend in January ($53M) in HBO Max ($47M). That’s nearly $20M more than the next highest ad spender of the month, LendingTree ($37M). It’s also more than what Amazon ($35M) spent on digital ads for its entire umbrella of subsidiaries, including Prime Video. And it’s even more than what Procter & Gamble spent last month ($32M) on its entire suite of CPG products.
February 5, 2021 / Culture, Business

Digital Ads and a Socially Distanced Super Bowl

From Pathmatics
The Big Game that almost never was - one of the final remnants of 2020 before we can truly look ahead to the new year...or, at least for football fans. A season filled with covid19 restrictions and protocols, multiple team outbreaks, and canceled games, many prognosticators thought we'd never get to the Super Bowl - but here we are! And although we won't see all the ads until the big game, several brands have already released their spots. And, in true 2020 fashion, some brands are doing things a little different this year.
January 25, 2021 / Culture, Economy

Building Back Better Our Food, Energy, and Water Systems Against the Backdrop of Climate Change

From aWhere
2020 was to be the year of Climate Action around the world by a wide range of organizations; at least that was the vision until COVID-19 caused a global pandemic. However, “2020 will likely be one of three warmest years on record,… Ocean heat is at record levels. Extreme heat, wildfires and floods, as well as a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season, have affected millions of people.
January 20, 2021 / Culture, Business

Which Restaurants Are Scoring Big With Stay-At-Home Football Sundays

From Consumer Edge Research
While COVID-19 has changed many consumer behaviors and limited entertainment, team sports have played on. Specifically, football on Sundays, and the foods that go with it, has remained in place as a national pastime. As the playoffs progress heading into the Super Bowl, we take advantage of CE Vision’s unique ability to easily isolate transactions by day of week to examine how food delivery on Sundays during Football Season differs from during the rest of the year.
January 6, 2021 / Culture

Citi Bike rides: The patterns in New York City

From Tej Seth
Citi Bike is New York City’s bike share system, and the largest in the United States. Citi Bike launched in May 2013 and has over 1,000 docking stations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Jersey City. It currently has over 17,000 bikes in service. With the help of a $100 million investment from Lyft over the next 4 years, the number of bikes and miles serviced is expected to double to 40,000 and 35, respectively. While there are many different patterns across locals, tourist, age groups and genders one trend is clear, New York City has embraced Citi Bike and ridership is rising.
December 21, 2020 / Culture

New Data Reveals Elf Industrial Productivity Soared 243pts in December

From Huq
Elf presence across Christmas workshops in Lapland has reached a new high today, with The Elf Index showing a significant rise in Elf productivity over the course of the last week.
December 8, 2020 / Culture

Hardware stores have become a favorite destination during the COVID-19 pandemic

From Aayush Sethi
According to data from Foursquare, a location technology platform, Americans are visiting hardware stores in record numbers. In fact, out of 11 essential businesses for which Foursquare monitors foot traffic data, hardware stores topped the chart. Liquor stores are a distant second while clothing stores are in last place. The data is indexed to February activity levels and normalized to account for age, gender and geographical bias.
December 3, 2020 / Culture

New Tier One Residents Show Greatest Restraint During National Lockdown

From Huq
UK residents living in regions destined for Tier 1 tomorrow have demonstrated greatest restraint in terms of mobility during recent months and the last few weeks of lockdown. What will they do with their newfound freedoms? Data from the Huq Index – which measures daily distances travelled – suggests not very much.
December 1, 2020 / Culture

Turkey Wednesday 2020

From Placer
When we think of the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ our minds rightfully drift to Christmas, Thanksgiving, and maybe for the truly shopping-minded, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But lost in the shuffle is a key day in the grocery calendar: Turkey Wednesday. On that day, shoppers across the country hurry to their local grocery store to get the last-minute needs for an ideal Thanksgiving meal.
November 24, 2020 / Culture

Lockdown 2.0: In person learning disappears again

From Burbio
With Covid rates rising across the US, K-12 schools that had introduced in-person learning are rapidly shifting to virtual. In the last week alone almost eight percent of US school children – totaling over 4MM students – have seen their in-person schools “go-virtual.”
November 24, 2020 / Culture

Holidays 2020

From Rakuten Intelligence
The 2020 holiday shopping season is shaping up to be unlike any other before. Retailers started advertising holiday deals nearly a month earlier than in previous years to encourage shoppers to spread out their holiday shopping throughout the fourth quarter. Amazon moved its annual Prime Day event to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
November 20, 2020 / Culture

As UK Enters Second Lockdown, New Patterns of Behavior Emerge

From Advan
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.
November 20, 2020 / Culture

October was a record-breaking month for home security apps

From Apptopia
The home security market typically sees an uptick in new users in December as people unbox their holiday tech gifts. But, apparently, security season came early this year. The top 10 home security apps gained more new users in October 2020 than any month prior,* about 4.5 million total. This represents a +22% MoM increase and a +72% YoY increase.
November 16, 2020 / Culture

Fringe news apps see big gains after election

From Apptopia
Both CNN and Fox News jumped to the top of the charts on election day. And both apps outperformed their 2016 performance. On November 8, 2016, CNN was #8 and Fox was #29 on the U.S. Top Overall chart for free apps on iOS. This past election day, CNN landed as #5 and Fox landed as #8. While CNN maintains a steady lead over Fox, Fox certainly saw the most growth between the two elections.