Which Brands are Thriving in 2022?

August 2, 2022

Rising inflation, stock market jitters, and yet another coronavirus variant may seem like a recipe for economic disaster. But it’s definitely not all doom-and-gloom. Visitations data produced by Gravy Analytics shows that brands in some sectors, like hospitality and entertainment, are not just surviving, but thriving. Even as U.S. consumers rethink their spending habits in light of higher food and gas prices, some brands are clearly offering something special that today’s consumers simply cannot do without. We compared foot traffic data for selected brands in Q2 2022 with data for Q2 2021 to see which brands are bringing more people through the door right now.

Shopping Mall Brands

It’s been a long time since we spent our Saturdays at the mall as teenagers, but Gravy’s foot traffic data shows that malls are having a moment. Westfield, whose portfolio includes 33 properties like Westfield San Francisco Centre, Westfield World Trade Center, and retail centers at major airports including JFK and LAX, saw its foot traffic increase by 125% in Q2 2022, compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Meanwhile, malls owned by Simon Property Group, the largest owner of shopping centers in the U.S., saw foot traffic increase by 60%. It’s almost like the 80s are here all over again.

Movie Theater Brands

While summer blockbuster season really took off with the release of Top Gun: Maverick, movie theater brands performed extraordinarily well throughout Q2 2022. Regal Cinemas and Alamo Drafthouse saw foot traffic that was 93% and 90% higher, respectively, than in Q2 2021. For the same period, AMC Theatres saw its foot traffic increase by a more-than-respectable 66%. After two years of Netflix and Hulu, it seems that U.S. consumers are ready to get back to a more traditional movie theater experience.

Gym & Fitness Brands

Gym visits dropped dramatically with the rise of COVID-19 as consumers took their workouts outdoors or online. Consumers are once again hitting the gym, however: in Q2 2022, visits to gyms like Gold’s Gym and Planet Fitness were up a whopping 46%, compared to the previous year. At the same time, home equipment brands like Peloton and Tonal, which became workout phenomenons at the start of the pandemic, have seen their sales start to slow and, in some cases, have even laid off employees.

Hotel Brands

Many Americans canceled their vacation plans in 2020 and 2021, creating a pent-up demand for holiday travel in 2022. Upscale hotel brands like Hilton, Westin, Sheraton, and Marriott saw their foot traffic rise anywhere between 52% and 66%. The hotel business is highly seasonal, however, and depends on both consumer and business travel. As of late, hotel stays have also become particularly pricey with rising consumer demand. We think it will be interesting to see if hotel foot traffic stays strong and whether business travel ramps up once families return to work and school this fall.

Dine-In Restaurant Brands

After two years of fast food and takeout, consumers are definitely ready to sit down for meals at restaurants. Full-service dine-in restaurants, like Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, have seen a dramatic increase in foot traffic since Q2 of last year. These affordable, family-friendly dining options saw a 43% and 39% increase in foot traffic, respectively, as more U.S. consumers chose to dine in and enjoy a more leisurely meal.

Wholesale Brands

Getting a good deal is never going out of style, and popular wholesale brands, like BJ’s Wholesale and Costco, offer consumers a whole lot of value at a reasonable price. Both brands were up an almost identical 36% in Q2 2022, compared to last year. With inflation not yet under control, we predict that these and other wholesale brands will continue to perform well through 2022, as consumers prioritize value to stretch their budgets.

See all of the top 25 thriving brands, below.

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