Recoveries in the department store sector have been stymied by a resurgence in COVID-19 cases leading to a reversal of the positive trends seen in May and June.
That’s according to new data from foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai. The company’s most recent Placer Bytes report dives into data for three department store retailers: Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and Dillard’s.
“It increasingly appears that the success of this sector – at least in the short term – will depend on the government’s ability to effectively control the impact of the pandemic,” said Jocelyn Bauer, Placer.ai. “Should COVID’s reign continue deeper into 2020 and beyond, the effect could be very difficult to overcome”
Here are the highlights.
- Macy’s: Initially, Macy’s had an impressive recovery out of COVID. Back in May, visits were down 88.2%, June visits were down just 56.1%. But visits for the week of July 13 and July 20 were 45.0% and 45.7% down, stalling Macy’s growth, with the brand appearing to be increasingly affected by the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.
- J.C. Penney: Penney's recovery is following a similar path. But it reached a peak on June 15 and is now falling again. The retailer dropped to a low point on the week of July 20th with visits down 46.9%. With continued closures on the horizon, and a large number of stores in hard hit states, an uncertain future for JCPenney lies ahead.
- Dillard’s performance saw May visits down nearly 70.0%, then jumped significantly in June when traffic was just 37.2% down, inching even closer to normalcy. Then, visits for the week of July 13 and July 20 generated some of the lowest traffic across the weeks measured.