New Insights from Gravy Analytics Reveal Consumers Are Looking for Ways to Save By Prioritizing Low-Cost Options Across Shopping, Entertainment and Dining

August 16, 2023

The company’s Q2 Consumer Foot Traffic Trends Report highlights how consumers are frequenting discount stores, historical sites for free entertainment and restaurants serving inexpensive fare

ASHBURN, Va., August 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ —  Gravy Analytics, the leading provider of enterprise location intelligence, today released its Q2 Consumer Foot Traffic Trends Report, which analyzed foot traffic data across a variety of locations from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023 to see how consumer behavior has changed across industries. The report found that foot traffic to many place categories – with the exception of shopping – experienced sharp declines, likely due to the price of goods remaining high even as inflation slows. The data indicates consumers are being highly selective when it comes to spending, often prioritizing less expensive places to buy necessities like food and clothing.

With premium prices across many industries, consumers look to save where they can 
Gravy’s latest report reveals consumers are continuing to carefully consider where they spend money, placing an emphasis on lower cost options across categories. Foot traffic to the shopping category as a whole increased 2% in Q2 2023 compared to the same period last year. Seeing the largest increases in foot traffic in this category during Q2 2023 were arts and crafts supply stores (+27%), jewelry stores (+22%) and discount/dollar stores (+20%). All discount/dollar store brands analyzed exhibited strong increases in visits, with Five Below leading with a 63% increase in foot traffic during Q2 2023. Even with the foot traffic growth experienced by discount stores, the increase in traffic to arts and crafts supply stores and jewelry stores shows there is promise for more discretionary spending among consumers.

Shopping wasn’t the only category to see consumers select cheaper options. Visits to most places in the entertainment category decreased significantly, including arenas (-56%), casinos (-45%) and movie theaters (-40%). The one exception was historical sites, a usually low/no-cost option which saw a 24% increase in foot traffic during Q2 2023 compared to Q2 2022.

Restaurants also saw this trend continue as those serving inexpensive fare, including ice cream shops (+32%), fast food restaurants (+15%) and donut shops (+9%) outperformed those with more traditional dining experiences, like family style restaurants (-21%) and buffets (-20%) which saw declines in foot traffic during Q2 2023.

“Insights from the Q2 2023 report indicate that higher prices and economic uncertainty are still greatly impacting where consumers go to spend their money, whether on staple items or fun activities and luxury purchases,” said Jeff White, founder and CEO of Gravy Analytics. “However, while many places experienced less foot traffic, others surged like ice cream shops and arts and crafts stores, signaling a consumer interest in discretionary spending when the price is right.”

Travel remains low with higher costs disengaging consumers 
Similar to the beginning of this year, the accommodations and transportation categories continue to take a hit, with foot traffic decreasing 50% and 33%, respectively, in Q2 2023 compared to the same period last year.

Within the accommodations category, hotels experienced the sharpest decline at -53%. Motels (-45%), destination resorts (-39%), inns (-35%) and golf resorts (-12%) also saw foot traffic fall.

Gravy’s report also revealed that foot traffic in the transportation category suffered during Q2 2023 amid higher ticket costs, especially for airports (-42%) and train stations (-29%) that both experienced steep declines. Less drastically, rental car locations saw a 9% decrease in foot traffic suggesting that consumers may be opting for road trips instead.

Predictions for Q3 2023 
“Based on our findings, consumers are tired of paying premium prices on necessity items like food and clothing, and are taking their business to discount stores and retailers that sell these items at a lower price point,” said White. “With consumers putting a renewed focus on low-cost items, we predict that last-minute deals on hotels, vacation rentals and flights will help spark leisure travel this fall and bring more foot traffic to businesses in the accommodations and transportation categories.”

For more information on Gravy Analytics’ research, download the full report.

About Gravy Analytics

Where people go and why tells the story of our world. Founded in 2011, Gravy Analytics is the enterprise location technology company providing actionable intelligence to businesses. Using its patented technology, the company brings data about people, places, and events together to understand human mobility, helping companies enhance their sales and marketing strategies and optimize business operations. Today, the company’s intelligence powers leading-edge solutions for a wide range of industries—from advertising to market research, financial services to supply chain risk management—that rely on knowing how people, products, and materials move throughout the world. For more information, please visit

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