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Changes in Grocery Foot Traffic

Ellen C. Wells

What do I always say? Look to the grocery industry to see what’ll impact garden retail and our customers a few paces down the road. My new-favorite newsletter, Morning Brew, had a piece this week about changing foot traffic patterns as a result of both pandemic recovery and inflation.

Here are a few points I’d like to highlight from that piece:

• Foot traffic in ’22 Q1 fell 8.6% from the previous quarter, but up 4.6% YoY.

• Foot traffic for the second half of Q1 slowed even more, with YoY visits for the week of March 28 down by 6.6%. This is where the ugly head of inflation starts to pop on the scene.

• Visits per individual store dropped 4.4% from pre-pandemic levels and 10.1% from last quarter.

• The median length of shopper visits dropped, too—likely due to inflation and smaller basket sizes, says the report.

For pandemic-era grocery and garden center retailers alike, customers were shopping all days of the week, not just on weekends. Well, this report indicates that the weekday shopping habit for groceries may be coming to an end. After three quarters of a decline, weekend shopping visits to superstores last quarter rose 36.2%. What an increase! But, according to this report, the visits are getting shorter, even for weekends. The time shopping fell by 9.1% YoY and 5.6% QoQ. GP

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