Oct 21, 2021

Insight Into Consumer Shopping Habits During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Thinking about expanding your portfolio to include an NNN investment property? With retail expected to make a comeback post-COVID, this may be a worthwhile possibility to consider. If you’re interested in purchasing property to be rented by retailers, taking a deep dive into consumer habits may help you make the most informed decisions. Although retail suffered overall during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, retail giants performed exceptionally well. Here, we share more about consumer habits and highlight how these trends are reflected within stores such as Walmart, Target, and Costco. For the full details and an in-depth breakdown of the statistics, take a look at the Placer.ai white paper.

Superstores Show Unshakable Strength

One thing is clear: the country’s most well-known superstores wield nearly unshakable power when it comes to consumer habits. Despite nationwide lockdowns in 2020, consumer data from Placer.ai shows that Walmart, Target, and Costco didn’t experience any significant reductions in foot traffic. When analyzing year-over-two-year data, the big box stores even managed to grow. Although customers tended to make fewer trips to these stores, the data indicates that they stayed longer and purchased more--leading to more meaningful trips.

Regional Differences Are Well-Defined

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues, regional comparisons paint a clear picture of where superstore visits have made a full recovery while others are slower to rebound. Perhaps unsurprisingly, foot traffic data demonstrates that northern and midwestern states experienced a faster comeback than retailers in the west and southwest. According to Placer.ai, retail giants in California and New Mexico experienced 6.2% and 8.9% reduction in visits respectively when comparing Q1 2021 to Q1 in 2019. New York and Indiana fared much better, with 5.6% and 6.5% year-over-two-year growth respectively.

Discount Stores Are On the Rise

Walmart is known for its customer loyalty, but this phenomenon may be tested in the coming years. As the economy has taken a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, smaller discount stores have begun to rival Walmart and other brands. Small players such as Big Lots and Dollar General are beginning to break into Walmart’s dominance and have shown surprising strength throughout the pandemic.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the performance of many retailers. While the vast majority suffered, it’s clear that retail giants including Walmart, Costco, and Target have incredible staying power. Although these three main players in the retail world enjoy undeniable strength, smaller stores have become increasingly popular and may continue on their upward trajectory. If you’re considering adding an NNN investment property to your portfolio, now may be an excellent time to pursue this goal. When you’re ready to explore the best options in the Rocky Mountain Region and beyond, we’re here to help.


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