Last-minute Thanksgiving shopping led to major gains for the nation’s top grocery stores this year.
A new report by analytics firm Placer.ai shows the nation’s top grocery store chains saw a big jump in foot traffic the day before Thanksgiving, even compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Data looking at the top seven grocers across the U.S. showed “Turkey Wednesday 2021” visits jumped 17.1% year-over-year, and 5.1% compared to pre-pandemic figures in 2019.
TRADER JOE’S AND WHOLE FOODS WIN BIG
The winners in the grocery category on Turkey Wednesday were Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, which saw visits increase 26.5% and 20.8%, respectively, year over year. They were followed by Meijer (16%), Publix (15.4%), H-E-B (14.2%), Albertsons (13.9%), and Kroger (13.1%).
Grocery-adjacent brands also saw a boost during Turkey Wednesday. Target and Walmart saw impressive surges in traffic compared to 2020 and 2019.
The only grocery related sector that didn’t see a significant jump was the wholesale club segment. The types of bulk, planned buys that shoppers usually turn to those stores for were less appealing for a last-minute Thanksgiving shop, it appears.
Meanwhile, the Farm Bureau’s annual survey indicated that the average cost of this year’s classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 was $53.31, or less than $6 per person. That represented a $6.41, or 14%, increase from 2020’s average of $46.90. However, according to USDA data, grocery stores began advertising lower feature prices later than usual this year.
BLACK FRIDAY AND CYBER MONDAY RESULTS
Traffic at retail stores on Black Friday dropped 28.3% compared to 2019 levels, according to preliminary data from Sensormatic Solutions, reported CNBC (Nov. 27). However, traffic was up 47.5% compared with year-ago levels. During this time in 2020, many shoppers stayed at home due to fears around the pandemic.
Online, retailers saw $8.9 billion in sales on Black Friday, down from the record of about $9 billion spent a year earlier, according to data from Adobe Analytics, marking the first time that growth reversed from the prior year.
Meanwhile, Cyber Monday sales dropped 1.4% when compared to the date in 2020, representing the first time Adobe Analytics tracked a slowdown in spending on a major shopping day. However, shopping for the season was robust, with online sales up 11.9% year over year from Nov. 1 through Cyber Monday, reported CNBC (Nov. 30).