A new report from Placer.ai shows that post-work visits to Dollar General are up, as consumers seek fast, affordable dinner options.
Placer.ai, a firm specializing in foot traffic and location analytics, is out with a report defining key characteristics of today’s shoppers. According to the company’s latest whitepaper delving into current consumer behaviors, ongoing economic trepidation is fueling a change in direction among many shoppers.
Placer.ai’s data shows that a greater number of higher-income households are visiting mid-range stores as they feel the pinch of inflation. The analysts cited Target as an example, noting its resilience amid economic headwinds; a comparison between Target’s potential market to its captured market shows that the retailer is attracting a “larger-than-expected” rate of higher-income households.
“The higher income among Target’s captured market visits highlight Target's ability to attract financially comfortable consumers – which may be giving the company a leg up during the current inflation-induced retail downturn,” the report concludes.
Also aligning with consumer mindsets about spending, Placer.ai’s whitepaper reveals that grocery shoppers in particular are focused on discounts when buying essentials. For instance, the analysts noted that while dwell time at the Hannaford banner dropped in recent years, shoppers in the chain’s captured market are using grocery lists more often as a way to make their trips more efficient.
Additionally, foot traffic data shows that 40.6% of ALDI shoppers also visited Dollar Tree Stores during the first quarter of 2023, up from 37.3% during the first quarter of 2021. “This trend likely reflects the growing dominance of discount and dollar stores and highlights ALDI shoppers' heightened price consciousness. The increase in cross-shopping also indicates that even retailers known for their budget-friendly prices are operating in an increasingly crowded discount space,” the analysts wrote. “Retailers and CPG companies that can cater to consumers’ current value orientation are likely to stay one step ahead of the competition.”
Another takeaway from the report is a recent pendulum shift in shoppers’ daypart shopping habits that open up new opportunities for retailers, including grocers and discounters. Placer.ai’s data indicates that a return to away-from-home office schedules in the wake of the pandemic is leading to a bump in post-work visits. Dollar General is one chain that has experienced a surge in evening visits, especially in rural areas, and has responded by offering more fresh foods at its stores and sharing dinner recipes on its website.