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Well past the second anniversary of the pandemic, business travel is showing its first significant signs of recovery. As that recovery gains momentum, a new landscape has formed with the presence of both traditional and new forms of business travel. Amid this new landscape, however, there remains mixed consumer sentiment toward business travel as well as a large gap between current volume and pre-pandemic comparables. STR’s consumer research from May 2022 produced telling insights into this always popular topic.


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September 23, 2022 / Business

Reaching Rural Consumers Through Retail Media Network

From Placer
Our latest white paper dives into retail media networks and explores several retailers on the cutting edge of this advertising revolution. Below is a taste of our findings. In spite of the gloomy predictions regarding the future of brick and mortar retail, major retailers are continuing to see their physical visits outnumber their online ones. Visits to Walmart and Target’s U.S. venues alone significantly outpace the brands’ global online reach, according to web data from Similarweb.
September 23, 2022 / Business

Premium brands win as inflation hits low-income back to school shoppers

From Earnest Research
Back to school spending fell 8.6% YoY at key retailers* for the 8 weeks ended September 14, 2022. This is an improvement from the 10.0% YoY decline at the start of the season (four weeks ending August 17th) in states where class had begun. Most notably, spending was materially slower than the largely flat growth during the pre-pandemic 2019 season.
September 23, 2022 / Business

Is Drizly Delivering for Uber?

From Consumer Edge Research
As at-home delivery services keep growing, Uber’s purchase of Drizly in October of last year seemed a natural synergy to complement Uber Eats and Postmates. But has Drizly been delivering? In today’s Insight Flash, we examine how Drizly’s direct business has fared over the last year since the purchase, looking at market share, average ticket, and cross-shop. Market share of spend directly through Drizly has declined since the Uber purchase. In the three months before the deal closed in 2021, Drizly had risen to \~3.5% share of spend for tagged brands in the Wine & Liquor subindustry.
September 23, 2022 / Real Estate

Home Flipping Dips Across U.S. During Second Quarter of 2022 While Profits Grow

From Attom Data Solutions
ATTOM, a leading curator of real estate data nationwide for land and property data, today released its second-quarter 2022 U.S. Home Flipping Report showing that 115,198 single-family houses and condominiums in the United States were flipped in the second quarter. Those transactions represented 8.2 percent of all home sales in the second quarter of 2022, or one in 12 transactions. The latest portion was down from 9.7 percent, or one in every 10 home sales, in the nation during the first quarter of 2022, but still up from 5.3 percent, or one in 19 sales, in the second quarter of last year.
September 23, 2022 / Business

Mobile Gaming – How to Spot Opportunities Amidst Growing Competition and Market Saturation

From AppAnnie
Market concentration helps to indicate if only a few games (or publishers) dominate the majority of the market. This highlights competitiveness. Using Game IQ subgenres and breaking down by geography, we were able to highlight areas of opportunity and disruption to answer: Is the mobile gaming market dominated by only a few big players How can independent publishers break through the titans of the industry? Which regions are gamers most open to new entrants, new genres or new gaming mechanics?
September 22, 2022 / Real Estate

New York Continues to Lead the Nation in Job Gains

From RealPage
New York led the nation for annual job gains once again in August, with Chicago, Dallas and Houston not far behind. However, as in the nation overall, most of those numbers are falling. As the U.S. economy grapples with rising interest rates, high inflation, volatile stocks and weakening consumer sentiment, the labor market has had to contend with increasing torpidity in hiring and retention. According to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), eight of the top 10 markets for employment gain had smaller annual totals in August than in July, the same number as last month.
September 22, 2022 / Business

The Home Improvement Sector: A Sign of Consumer Confidence

From Placer
The home improvement sector was one of the biggest retail winners of 2020 and 2021. But in the first half of 2022, inflation caused consumers to think twice about home improvement projects that could break the bank. We looked at six leading brands in the home improvement sector – Lowe’s Home Improvement, The Home Depot, Tractor Supply Co., Ace Hardware, Menards, and Sherwin-Williams Paint Store – to see if we could spot renewed foot traffic trends that could indicate broader consumer confidence and discretionary spending health.
September 21, 2022 / Business

Starbucks sales shine during 2022 pumpkin spice latte launch

From Second Measure
The return of seasonal offerings like the pumpkin spice latte (or “PSL”)—which launched at Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) this year on August 30—coincided with a noticeable uptick in weekly U.S. sales for the coffee chain. Looking at Starbucks’ sales volume during fall menu launches over the past four years, U.S. weekly sales were also highest during the launch in 2022.
September 21, 2022 / Culture

To Code, or Not to Code: The Fall of Humanities at Universities

From Revelio Labs
The US labor market has changed over the last decade, and so have universities’ curricula and students’ major choices. But exactly how much has the college major landscape changed over the past decade? The indisputable new superstar of college majors is Computer Science. Enrollment in CS has increased by 140% over the past decade! The other majors that increased in popularity were also vocational in nature: Nursing, Business, and Engineering. All other majors have seen decreases in enrollment, with the biggest losses in Sociology, Literature, and History.
September 21, 2022 / Business

Darden Restaurants Cooking Up Success

From Placer
The Darden Restaurant Group is one of the world’s largest full-service restaurant groups. With eight restaurant chains in over 1,800 locations, the company owns and manages some of the biggest names in the dining industry. When we last looked at Darden, visits were starting to pick up following a tough year of pandemic restrictions. Now, as grocery costs are rising, we checked back in to see how these restaurants are being impacted by the current economic environment.
September 21, 2022

Not So Healthy? US Health Care Credit Trends

From Credit Benchmark
After a record run of 14 months of net improvements, this sample of more than 400 US Health Care companies has recorded three months with a CCI below 50, indicating that downgrades now outnumber upgrades. The changing balance between upgrades and downgrades in US Health Care is mirrored in Figure 2, showing that the long decline in average credit risk – measured by default probability (axis inverted) – has been faltering, with recent periods of credit deterioration.
September 21, 2022 / Real Estate

CoreLogic: Annual US Rent Price Growth Slows for Third Consecutive Month in July

From CoreLogic
Although U.S. single-family rent growth was up by 12.6% in July year over year, the gains continued to slow from the historic high recorded in April. CoreLogic observes similar price growth relaxation in most major metro areas tracked in the SFRI, including popular Sun Belt cities that have seen rental costs skyrocket. Miami’s 30.6% annual price gain again topped the country in July but is down from the 40.8% year-over-year growth recorded in March 2022. Phoenix, which posted a 12.2% annual gain in July, saw rental cost growth drop by 6 percentage points from March.
September 21, 2022 / Business

Top QSR apps in the U.S. for August 2022 by Downloads

From Apptopia
The top 10 quick-service restaurant apps in the U.S. were downloaded 10.3 million times in August, 14.8 percent less than those the month prior. Year-over-year in the month of August, downloads of the top 36 quick-service restaurant apps are up 18.9 percent. A download represents a new user and the first conversion on the mobile app customer’s journey. While the order has changed, every one of July’s 10 most downloaded quick-service restaurant apps have returned in August’s lineup. Dunkin’ moved up two spots from No. 9 to No. 7, very likely due to the release of its pumpkin spice flavored drinks and treats.
September 20, 2022 / Business

There’s Somethin’ About Pumpkin

From Placer
The return of pumpkin-themed menu items signals the arrival of fall in the coffee space. Over the years, everything from pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin muffins have gained a massive following. We dove into the foot traffic data for two leading QSRs – Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts – to take a closer look at how the launch of fall menu items drove visits to the chains. To analyze the impact of Dunkin’s and Starbucks’ fall menu launches, we compared each chain’s average visits in the five weeks prior to its fall menu launch to visits in the seven days post-launch.
September 20, 2022 / Business

What’s On the Menu for Meal Kits?

From Consumer Edge Research
As worldwide inflation has increased the costs of food, are customers keeping their taste for Meal Kits? In today’s Insight Flash, we look at trends for the top Meal Kit companies in the US and UK, focusing on spend growth, pricing, and retention. In the US, Meal Kits subindustry growth has been stronger than in the UK over the last 35 days on a one-year, two-year, and three-year basis. Compared to three years ago, spend in the US was up 119% versus a still healthy 97% for the UK, 25% versus 18% compared to two years ago, and a positive 4% versus negative -10% compared to last year.
September 20, 2022 / Business

Cash advance apps grow 69% year-over-year, more than other fintech sectors

From Apptopia
The vibes surrounding consumer financial companies are not what they used to be, but Apptopia data makes one think the negative sentiment has gone too far. While installs (new users) of top consumer fintech apps are down 14% year-over-year in Q3, they are up 19.4% over Q3 in 2020. This is more of a situation where water is finding its level. Still, that doesn't mean that things are not shifting and responding to economic activity. Certain sectors of the fintech industry are being hit harder than others, while some are growing as opportunity (via inflation) presents itself.
September 19, 2022 / Real Estate

South Region Sees Most Pandemic-Era Revenue Growth

From RealPage
Apartment markets in the South region saw revenues increase the most since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It goes without saying that the pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the nation’s multifamily market. One way to look at performance is to study the changes in revenue per occupied square foot, one of the metrics available in RealPage’s lease transaction data set which is comprised of more than 11 million individual apartment leases.
September 19, 2022 / Business

LinkUp JOLTS Forecast shows more slowing

From LinkUp
On October 4th, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will be releasing its JOLTS data for August that will include the much-anticipated job openings data for the month. Based on LinkUp’s job listings data sourced directly from company websites in July and August, we are forecasting that job openings in the U.S. declined last month, dropping 2.6% to ​​10,950,000.
September 16, 2022 / Business

Is Back to School Back to Normal?

From Consumer Edge Research
With the 2022 school year just starting in the US, we use our unique demographic data to isolate households with children and see how their spending patterns have changed versus previous years. In today’s Insight Flash, we look at total back to school spend for households with children, a breakdown in growth rates by subindustry, and which brands saw the strongest trends. Since just after back to school three years ago in September 2019, spend has risen more quickly for households with children than for those without.
September 15, 2022 / Business

Estimating Twitter’s Bot-Free Monetizable Daily Active Users (mDAU)

From Similarweb
Abstract There has been a heated debate over the last few months over the question of how many real human users Twitter has. While all previous work, focused on analysis of Twitter accounts and attempts to classify bots, Similarweb takes a different, unique approach. We apply an explainable machine learning algorithm using datasets of digital activities of panels of users to provide robust estimates of Twitter’s average Monetized Daily Active Users (mDAU) for the US over the period of Q3 2021-Q2 2022.