Foot Traffic At Retailers Like Costco And Target Saw A Decline


Adam Davy – PA ImagesGetty Images

The news around the COVID-19 outbreak is constantly changing, but information about food safety and how to keep yourself healthy is crucial right now. Here is a comprehensive list on the foods you should be stocking up on during this period of social distancing, as well as information about your local grocery stores’ changing hours, an explanation of “no-contact delivery,” and a guide on how to help your community and its businesses throughout closures.

Retailers like Walmart, Costco, and Target saw traffic decline for the first time in weeks, in a small sign that grocery stockpiling in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak could be subsiding and shopping patterns could be returning to more “normal” levels.

According to a post published by, an artificial intelligence company that measures foot traffic, Costco, Walmart, and Target all saw a decrease in visitors for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak began gaining attention in the U.S. Sam’s Club was the only one of the stores analyzed that saw year-over-year growth, but Pacer remarked this was “likely to be as much an indication of the company’s overall resurgence.”

The blog post also posited a question as to whether these declines are a result of increased social distancing guidelines in stores or because everyone has simply stocked up on everything they needed and, as a result, required fewer visits to stores.

“There is a downside to stocking up for the long haul. Once you have all the things you need, there is little need for more visits,” wrote VP of Marketing at Ethan Chernofsky.

But if this is the reason for the downturn, things could also reverse as people need to buy more supplies: “While it is certainly possible that the downturn will hold, it is equally likely that as consumer needs begin to grow again and the goods that were originally stored up diminish, growth will return,” he said.

It’s not just wholesalers: In another blog post specifically looking at grocery stores, the seven retailers that it cast an eye on (Albertsons, Kroger, Publix, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s, and Safeway), saw huge spikes at the end of February into early March but as of the third week of March, none of them saw visits that matched the surge of the week before. This could be a sign that things are returning to a more “normal” level of buying.

In fact, Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Trader Joe all saw year-over-year losses, according to the data, likely because of a few different factors, including social distancing regulations in larger cities and college campuses, according to the post.

This is as good a reason as any to remind you not to stockpile goods. As we’ve noted before, stores are not expected to run out of goods permanently and as stores see a bit less of a surge of people, hopefully everyone can safely get what they need.

Source Article