Tale of two cities — after COVID.

LA is getting ripped.

Is it too late to get a summer bod? Nah… We’ve still got August, right?

LA Fitness trips are up 47% in the city of angels. And with traffic to travel websites up this month, it seems Angelinos are ready to take a final summer vacation.

Of course, LA’s a popular travel destination too — so, it makes sense that Enterprise Rent-a-Car visits are up 35%. It’s always a great time to hit the beach.

“Nobody walks in LA!”

… Actually, they do.

A lot of people are walking in LA – and shopping, too. After missing out on summer shopping last year (due to COVID) people are ready for some new clothes. They’re buying them in droves too — hitting up Nordstrom (⬆32%), JCPenny (⬆30%), and H&M (⬆39%).

While they’re out and about, it’s a great time to cool down with ice cream, given the heatwave.

Then, it’s a quick hop over to Hobby Lobby (⬆31%). Here they’ll probably pick up a few pieces, as LA homeowners have been going crazy in the redecoration department. Home prices are soaring here and everyone’s scrambling to cash in on that equity, while they still can.

Costco app exodus. 

LA app grocery shoppers are down across the board.

In June, drops range from as little as 10% for Albertsons and 25% for Target – to 51% at Costco. But why did Costco drop so much, relative to its competitors?

Find out.

COVID restrictions could be coming into play. Back in June, CA resumed normal business activities and removed masks. However, LA recently asked for masks to be worn again indoors, due to the Delta variant.

We’ll need to see how this impacts in-person shopping. With mask mandates back in place, consumers may go back to apps, which would likely be reflected in July’s Persona Views.

Category shifts.

Walmart site visits are trending up, month over month. 

Meanwhile, other big-box retailers (like Target + Costco) are noticeably down (6%) and (17%), respectively. This hints at Walmart visits being held up by their non-grocery products.

But that’s a guess.

This is your chance to get your hands on cold, hard facts. Not getting enough web traffic? Find out why. It could be a good chance to invest in-store, if your online sales are starting to decline and foot traffic is up. So, if you’re not sure which way to go, get the data you need. Don’t lose customers to the competition.

What about the Empire state?

At first glance, things don’t look too different.

In NYC, for example, Walmart app shoppers are pretty much on par with LA. But when you dig past the surface level, it’s gets very different.

Consider this…

Target app shoppers are actually up 1% in New York City. In LA, they’re down 25%. Interesting. Again, it may have to do with the lifting of restrictions, and we could see a reversal in as little as a month or two. You’ll want to watch Shopper Paths to get an accurate answer.

New York cats get more treats.

There could be a cat conspiracy going on.

I don’t know if all the cats in NYC decided to sit on the keyboards of their owners at the same time — but everyone seemed to visit PetSmart in June. Much more than usual at least, with a 26% rise in foot traffic.

If you work for PetSmart, check it out. Or, if you sell pet products, see how foot traffic is coming along in your category. You already know that in-store shopping beats online in all pet categories. 

So, see what’s going on.

Consumer electronics are up in NYC.

T-Mobile is back at it, with a 67% increase in their foot traffic.

People are going to Metro by T-Mobile stores and there’s a 36% increase in foot traffic to their standard stores. T-Mobile seems to be making quite a play for Verizon. At the same time, Verizon has been heavily promoting its 5G focus, offering consumers free phones to make the switch.

This will be a cool one to track in the coming months.

Apple is on the rise, too. Their foot traffic is up 26% from May to June. Not only that, but just this week, Apple beat out Samsung in phone sales for the 1st time in 4 years. Here’s why.

If your foot traffic is lagging, check this out.

NYC is all dolled up.

Makeup went on the back burner in 2020. 

But, it’s time to stock up again, take note. Ulta Beauty foot traffic is up 27%. Looks like this makeup retailer is ready to help its buyers look their best.

After all, 62% of shoppers preferred shopping at Ulta during COVID, and 81% went there to buy make-up.

Cool, so now what?

Things are changing.

And money is being spent — in LA at NYC — and across the nation. Consumers will spend $5k each this summer, on 5 things.

Don’t miss out on these sales.

Now is the time to study your consumers. See what your buyers are up to. Then, find the best times, places, and channels to reach them. Use their in-store and online data to build a business case.

Start here. Use Persona Views free for 7 days to gather insights, and get ready to reach consumers.

By Allyson Wehn

Reviewed by Cathy Karcher

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