What's happening with Mass retailers? Analyzing foot traffic underperformance

Since the beginning of June, the Mass channel has lost both share of visits and share of transactions within the Retail market.

Though certain events may have played a role, like the wave of civil unrest forcing temporary store closures, some other factors are likely driving Mass’s share declines.

In today's COVID-19 Briefing, we analyzed the underperformance of the Mass channel - specifically where, who, and why.



Where? Foot traffic is gaining in the Northeast, but Mass retailers like Walmart don't have a strong footprint there.

While retail foot traffic has been flat to down in the Midwest, South and West regions, there has been a recent increase in total foot traffic to food retailers in the Northeast, where Mass channel leader Walmart doesn't have as strong a footprint as it does in other regions.



Who? Retailer visits are more frequently occurring among consumer segments that aren't Mass loyalists.

Looser shelter-in-place behaviors are driving increased Retail visit frequency of younger, affluent consumer segments who are also not a focus group of Walmart.



Why? Consumers are choosing where to shop based on value, memberships, and product quality.

Consumers are increasingly choosing retailers by either price / promos, program memberships, and product quality, which may be steering some consumers to Dollar Stores, Club retailers, or Supermarkets over ones like Walmart.

drivers of retail choice survey

These factors are likely playing a bigger role than ones like increased stock-up activity / trip consolidation, or the growth of online ordering, both of which could disproportionally lower foot traffic volume to the Mass channel.

Attend the COVID-19 Briefing webinar series

This analysis came from Sense360's COVID-19 webinar series. We present free, real-time insights on the impact of coronavirus to the restaurant, grocery, c-store, retail, and CPG industries. 

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