Although I follow digital channels closely, keeping our finger on the pulse of in-person commerce is just as valuable.
Over the past year, COVID-19 has driven significant declines in foot traffic at venues nationwide, such as restaurants, gyms, and shopping centers.
Data from Placer.ai showed shopping center foot traffic up 223% year-over-year, followed by dining (139% y/y) and medical (78% y/y).
Potential Investment Implications
As we return to a state of normal, foot traffic data can help provide insights into consumer activity on both a granular and broad level. Since the pandemic, areas such as travel and dining have been among the worst hit, while essential stores (e.g. grocery stores) have fared better.
In the coming months, we can expect to see high year-over-year growth rates from many companies as today’s levels of foot traffic or sales get compared to low points in the prior year (early days of the COVID-19 pandemic). The story however is two-sided, as some businesses have not only performed well pre-COVID, but are now performing even better.
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