Retail Spending Up Across the U.S.

Top Data analysis of visit data concludes retail industry ‘is back, better than ever’
grocery shopper
Photograph: Shutterstock

A Top Data analysis of visit data from 12 million Americans has concluded that the retail industry “is back, better than ever,” seeing an 18.2% increase in traffic from pre-pandemic figures.

The study, conducted by Austin, Texas-based Top Data, compared which grocery, big-box, convenience, department and home improvement stores and gas stations are getting the most traffic compared with 2020.

See also: As Whole Foods Contends With Foot-Traffic Shortfalls, Where Can It Go From Here?

The results were clear, according to Top Data: Retail spending has increased in all of the 48 states studied. Alaska and Hawaii were not included.

“As pandemic restrictions continue to ease, many people are ready to make up for lost time by flocking back to shopping for things they’ve been putting off,” the report said.

Top Data ranked states with the most “bounceback retail spending,” ordering them by percentage increase in visitation from 2020 to 2022. The top 10 are:

  1. Vermont: 62.5%
  2. New York: 57.4%
  3. West Virginia: 49.2%
  4. Oklahoma: 35.1%
  5. Arkansas: 34.%
  6. Mississippi: 33.7%
  7. Missouri: 32.5%
  8. Ohio: 32.5%
  9. Alabama: 31.8%
  10. Louisiana: 30.6%

“We compared 48 states across 23 key indicators to determine the states that are leading the way in COVID recovery,” the report stated. “The data set considers a depth of topics, ranging from the number of visits to bars to social distancing rate, all the way through to the number of businesses being created during the pandemic.”

For hosting the “most-recovered retail industry,” the top five states were:

1. Vermont
2. New York
3. West Virginia
4. Oklahoma
5. Arkansas

The bottom five were:

44. Washington
45. Montana
46. Rhode Island
47. Nevada
48. Wyoming

In “most jobs available,” the top five states were:

1. New Hampshire
2. Massachusetts
3. Vermont
4. North Dakota
5. Maine

The bottom five were:

44. Arkansas
45. California
46. West Virginia
47. Louisiana
48. Mississippi

To analyze how well states are recovering from the pandemic, Top Data compared the contiguous states across three key dimensions: consumer confidence, job-market strength, and health and safety.

Top Data evaluated those dimensions using 23 relevant metrics, and each metric was graded on a 100-point scale. Metrics included “visits to sit-down restaurants,” “visits to general retail,” “unemployment rate,” “change in state GDP” and “fully vaccinated population.”

A version of this story appeared on WGB sister site



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