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02/04/2022

Wholesale, discount retailers see increased foot traffic to close 2021

Placer.ai's new report shows that wholesale and discount retailers with private label selections have seen the strongest success in the past two years.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Wholesale clubs and discount retailers with private label collections performed well to end 2021, according to retail data company Placer.ai. The firm released its Superstores Quarterly Index for Q4 of 2021, which looked at a number of major retailers in private label. 

Two of the main findings showed that wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club, Costco and BJ’s Wholesale have seen significant growth Yo2Y, along with discount retailers like Big Lots, Five Below and Dollar General.

“Many superstore brands did quite well over the pandemic, and Q4 2021 data confirms that superstores as a whole held on to their gains through 2021, with visits up every quarter relative to 2019,” said Placer.ai in the report. “But even more significant are the YoY and QoQ foot traffic increases of the past three quarters, which indicate that brick and mortar superstores are successfully growing their customer base, even as the wider retail sector has opened back up and e-commerce channels have become more widely available and accessible."

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Wholesale club data

Foot traffic to the three major wholesale clubs increased significantly Yo2Y, with visits to Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJ’s Wholesale up 8.5%, 7.2%, and 8.7%, respectively, when compared to 2019. Sam’s Club and Costco also saw major YoY and QoQ growth in Q4, with BJ’s seeing a dip in Q4 2021 compared to the previous quarter and Q4 2020.

All three club retailers, fueled by a strong private label presence, are seeing substantially more visits today than they did two years ago. Placer.ai calls the growth a testament to the success of the wholesale format, as the demand for larger quantities is strong enough to grow the whole category.

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Discount retailer data

In the discount segment, Big Lots, Five Below and Dollar General saw varied degrees of success. In Q4 2021, Big Lots saw a 33.7% increase in traffic compared to the previous quarter. Dollar General, a retailer known for its private label grocery selection, has seen a 28.5% increase in traffic compared to 2019, and a 16% increase compared to 2020. Target and Walmart have both seen modest growth compared to the value retailers.

The full Superstores Quarterly Index report can be found here.