Litwin and Kelly first discussed the recovery of the retail industry this year and whether or not a return to pre-COVID foot traffic could happen.
“Right now our models are not predicting a return to normal this year,” said Kelly. He explained that while there was an increase in foot traffic for two months leading into June, that trend has stagnated. Zenreach predicts that by the end of the year, retail foot traffic will reach 65% of normal.
Zenreach gathers data on foot traffic by measuring mobile phone pings for wifi signals in local establishments with nearly 10,000 data gathering locations across North America.
Kelly explained that retail is recovering faster than restaurants, bars, and nightclubs for reasons such as less government restrictions on the sector as well as consumer sentiment being more comfortable with browsing stores while practicing social distancing and other safety precautions. Many retail locations have also been utilizing in-store pickup services with great success.
When asked how the restaurant and bar industries could improve their recovery, Kelly recommended, “make sure that you let your consumers know what safety precautions you’re taking.” He emphasized the importance of getting the word out using online channels to best reach customers.
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