MarketWatch reports that "traffic at Walmart Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Target Corp. dropped for the first time in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic ramped up in the U.S., according to Placer.ai."
According to the story, "Walmart traffic was down 6.7% year-over-year for the third week of March. The previous week, traffic was up 18.4% … At Costco, traffic fell 8.7% year-over-year for the third week of March. The second week of March, traffic jumped 34.7% … And at Target, traffic slumped 20.5% in the third week of March after climbing 19.2% year-over-year the previous week.
The decline in traffic is attributed to a pair of reasons - people have stocked up during the first weeks of the pandemic crisis and don't need to keep obtaining basic supplies, and people are using more delivery services as government warnings against going outside have become more specific and amplified.
- KC's View:
The sense seems to be that a lot of this is cyclical, and so the high traffic numbers could return. But I also think - and hope - that the citizenry is taking these recommendations about not going out seriously, and that includes going to the store less than in the past.