Q2 2023 Consumer Foot Traffic
The COVID-19 public health emergency has been declared over halfway through 2023. While many people continue to look for signs of an impending recession, the job market has remained strong, and the stock market has risen. Although consumer price inflation has slowed in recent months as a result of interest rate increases, and supply chain issues have largely subsided, the cost of many goods and services remains significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels. What can consumer foot traffic trends tell us about consumer spending habits and the state of the economy in the United States? How has consumer behavior changed since the pandemic, and what, if anything, has returned to normal in our daily lives?
Are We Back to Normal Yet?
According to our data, consumer foot traffic to the majority of place categories has decreased year over year. Shopping malls were the sole exception, with foot traffic increasing by only 2% over the same quarter last year. During the same time period, growth in banking and finance and services was flat. Visits to places of transportation, entertainment, and lodging dropped precipitously on the other end of the spectrum. What factors could be influencing these dramatic shifts in consumer behavior? In this report, we’ll dig deeper into each category, as well as some regional and brand-specific consumer trends.
Figure 1: The graph depicts a detailed breakdown of change in categories between Q2 2022 and Q2 2023.
Visits to all types of accommodations decreased dramatically between Q2 2022 and Q2 2023. Foot traffic at golf resorts fell by a more modest -12%, but visits to hotels fell by a whopping -53%. As consumer demand for vacations increased following the pandemic, hotels filled up their rooms and raised their prices, but demand has since declined. Due to inflation and the high cost of leisure accommodations, consumers may prefer AirBnB-style vacation rentals over hotels, or they may simply stay at home. It’s also unclear whether business travel, which has long been a mainstay for mid-priced hotels, has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Both of these factors may be contributing to the current decline in foot traffic at hotels and other lodgings in the United States.
Related Resources: Q1 2023 Consumer Trends Report
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