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Retail visits fell nationwide In March — but one region outperforms the others

shoppers walking
Visits to fitness centers, spas and theatres rose in March.

Tightening economic conditions had an impact on retail foot traffic in the first part of the year.

Overall retail visits were down in the first three months of the year compared to a January 2022 baseline, according to foot traffic analytics firm’s “Retail Foot Traffic Recap — March 2023” report.

Retail traffic is performing better in some regions than others. Nationwide, March 2023 retail traffic fell 5.0% year-over-year, but in the five best-performing states, the visit gap was smaller than 2.2%.  T

The Northeast seems to be seeing higher overall visit numbers: In March, seven of the 10 best-performing states were in the Northeast, found. (The seven states were Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Vermont.). Other states in the top 10 included Colorado and Hawaii. Washington, D.C. also was a top performer.

Even as overall retail visits fell, several retail and service categories increased their traffic in the first three months of 2023. During March, visits in the fitness category were up 11.1% year-over-year. Visits were up 9.9% in beauty and spa as well, and rose 3.3% in the theaters and music venues categories.

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