New Insights From Gravy Analytics Reveal Customers Are Prioritizing Leisure and Worth Buying Over Holidays and Outside Recreation

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The company’s Q3 Consumer Trends Report highlights which industries are open and back to normal, and which are lagging behind

DULLES, Va., November 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Gravy Analytics, the leader in enterprise location intelligence, today released its Q3 Consumer Trends Report, which analyzes foot traffic data across a variety of locations from Q3 2021 to Q3 2022 to see how consumer behavior has changed across industries. Foot traffic to entertainment, shopping, and business locations increased while significantly decreased in the lodging, outdoor recreation, and automobile categories. The data shows that while most of the world has reopened, not all businesses are back to normal amid ongoing challenges related to the pandemic, inflation and supply chain restrictions.

The chart above from Gravy Analytics shows the percentage change in foot traffic to various location categories in Q3 2022 compared to Q3 2021.

Shopping and entertainment are increasing while outdoor recreation is decreasing

The latest report from Gravy shows that in-person shopping is back with a vengeance as consumers once again enjoy the social experience of shopping at a mall and leisurely browsing stores. Foot traffic to shopping destinations was 15% higher in Q3 2022 compared to Q3 2021, and department stores (49%), outlet malls (38%) and shopping centers (37%) saw the largest increases in foot traffic during this period .

The entertainment category also saw a significant increase in walk-in traffic as consumers wanted to enjoy a night out on the town or at a local sporting event. Visits to general entertainment and nightclubs increased by 18% and 11%, respectively, in the third quarter of 2022 year-on-year. Visits to arenas and stadiums increased by 90%, suggesting that not only are these venues fully open, but consumers are also flocking to major sporting events and concerts. Foot traffic to more modest and closer entertainment venues also recovered, with bowling alleys (79%) and movie theaters (65%) attracting far more consumers in Q3 2022 than in Q3 2021.

While most outdoor venues such as parks and wilderness areas have seen heavy traffic during the pandemic as consumers searched for activities that allowed them to go outside in a safe and socially distanced manner, the same cannot be said now due to foot traffic to outdoor recreation decreased by more than 19% in Q3 2022.

“With the world open again, consumers are increasingly looking to live entertainment and in-person shopping compared to last year,” he said Jeff White, Founder and CEO of Gravy Analytics. “Consumers still care about where they spend their money, such as with wholesalers, and we can expect this to remain so while inflation remains high. We’ve also found that areas that have thrived during the pandemic, such as parks and outdoor sports centers, have seen lower levels of traffic as other indoor entertainment venues and recreational activities have reopened.”

Inflation continues to have an impact across sectors

Data from the report shows that today’s shoppers appear to be shopping more at wholesalers such as Costco and Sam’s Club, where they are buying in bulk and getting more bang for their buck during this time of high inflation. Compared to the third quarter of 2021, foot traffic to Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale was at least 25% higher this year, suggesting that inflation is having a strong impact on the grocery category.

Many assumed consumers would prioritize the summer months this year to take long-awaited vacations, but insights from Gravy’s human mobility data show that wasn’t the case. Foot traffic to places in the lodging category (hotels, motels, golf resorts, vacation spots, and lodges) was 28% lower in Q3 2022 compared to Q3 2021, when many consumers were struggling to travel again. This decline in walk-in customers was most pronounced at motels, which saw 55% fewer walk-in customers in Q3 2022 compared to a year ago, likely reflecting their target customers being impacted by higher prices for everyday necessities like gas and groceries. Visitor traffic to hotels also fell by 27% over the same period.

Workers are beginning to return to traditional office spaces

This year, many companies have begun implementing return-to-office policies, and findings from Gravy’s report suggest that workers are slowly but surely returning to traditional office spaces. In Q3 2022, foot traffic to office buildings was 7% higher than in Q3 2021, while visits to general business services increased by 19%. Orlando, Philadelphiaand Washington, D.Call saw at least 35% more visits to store locations in Q3 2022 NYCone of the first markets to see a return of foot traffic to office locations after COVID-19 grew just 12%, suggesting this space is slowing in terms of return to the office.

Forecasts for Q4 2022

“Based on our insights, we are predicting a strong holiday season for shopping and entertainment venues,” White said. “Unfortunately, low-income consumers will continue to be hit hardest by inflation, and businesses that predominantly serve this market, such as discount stores and motels, will continue to see fewer passers-by until prices come down.”

For more information on Gravy Analytics research, download the full report.

About Gravy Analytics

Where people go and why tells the story of our world. Founded in 2011, Gravy Analytics is the enterprise location technology company that delivers actionable intelligence to businesses. With its patented technology, the company brings together data about people, places and events to understand human mobility and help companies improve their sales and marketing strategies and streamline business operations. Today, the company’s intelligence powers leading-edge solutions for a wide range of industries – from advertising to market research, financial services to supply chain risk management – that depend on knowing how people, products and materials move around the world . Visit www.gravyanalytics.com for more information.

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