2023 Foot Traffic Review

Crazy to think we are already halfway through 2023, but what better time to assess the current situation of grocery foot traffic. Placer.ai has come out with new data analytics reviewing the current state of grocery foot traffic considering inflation, post pandemic, and other economic challenges. The overall review shows, in general, foot traffic and grocery store trips are showing a declining trend. However, as Placer.ai commented “plenty of bright spots can be found, with grocers well positioned to adapt to changing consumer behaviors.” Food retailers have pivoted effectively in different ways, Placer.ai’s paper reveals.”

In response to consumers behaviors, it makes sense that discount grocers are seeing higher traffic as they placate price sensitive shoppers navigating inflation. In addition to discount grocers, higher priced retailers are changing their go to market strategies focused on more “mission-driven shopping” as shoppers are visiting less and shopping with a plan. It is not only about missions and bargain shopping, Placer.ai also found retailers finding success in offering different shopping experiences. Whether it be offering experimental grocery choices or providing a smaller format offering lower prices but with a pleasing environment.  Physical changes can bring the customers to the front door, but retailers using media networks have an upper hand, as they collect information about their clientele which enables them to tailor their grocery options.

R.J. Hottovy, with Progressive Grocer had an interesting take on this subject, “You go back every year to 2020 and there is kind of a theme. 2020 was a year of survival – just making sure we got by with the pandemic. 2021 was the year of changing consumer behavior. And then in 2022, inflation just dropped a bomb, and there was a lot of change. We saw an immediate shift, with things like growth in dollar stores,” he recalled. “So now it’s 2023 and the theme is all about maximizing the return and getting through. I think it’s very much a value-focused mindset and I see that across the board.”