Measuring State Reopenings: Part 3


Earnest continues to monitor how consumers are responding to the gradual reopening of retail doors across the country. In this refresh, we look at spending by state, online spending, restaurant and travel performance, and the potential impact on spending from the nationwide protests.

Read Part One and Part Two of this series.

Protesters march in New York City against police brutality
Image source: The New York Times

Key Takeaways

  • Spending growth by state continues to improve in staggered phases. Nationally, spending has improved 20 points from trough, with the early reopened states (AK, IN, LA, KS, WV, etc.) improving ~30 points and the recently reopened states (DE, NY, CA, IL, etc.) improving ~15 points.
  • The last week of May saw a material slowdown in online sales growth. Growth slowed at Amazon and Paypal ~15 to 20 points week over week, and Stripe slowed 30 points. 
  • Restaurant foot traffic exposure by state can result in spending outperformance, such as with Sonic and Chick-fil-A who have higher exposure to the early reopened states. However, this variable is not as relevant to more online delivery centric brands such as with the Pizza brands, and recently with Chipotle.
  • Travel is seeing signs of life, particularly with lodging marketplaces HomeAway and Airbnb, which grew ~30% to 50% YoY in the last week of May.
  • The nationwide protests were couched in the context of an already depressed retail environment, blurring the ability to see a definitive spending impact in the data. However, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and New York City each saw spending slowdowns week over week, relative to the rest of the country.

State of Reopenings

As of June 1st, nationwide spending growth improved over 20 points from trough. While the stay-at-home orders for all but five states expired*(DC, NJ, OR, PA, VA), retail activity is still reopening at varied phases in different regions across the country. As a result, spending improvements have continued to stagger and look different across states.

Generally speaking, states that opened earlier continued to outperform (AK, IN, LA, KS, WV, etc.), improving ~30 points, while recently reopened states improved by ~15 points (DE, NY, CA, IL, etc.). OH and MI, which opened on May 28-29, already improved an impressive ~30 points, while MD, MN, and MA, which opened on May 15-18, are reviving at a slower pace.

Visualization of individual states' improvement from economic trough during COVID-19

Ecommerce Spending Slowing

Looking by channel across thousands of merchants (see appendix), the last week of May showed a material slowdown in online sales growth. After growing nearly 70% YoY mid-April, and 60% YoY in the week beginning May 19th, growth slowed to 44% YoY last week. Drilling into the big ecommerce platforms, both Amazon and Paypal slowed down by 15 to 20 points, and Stripe slowed by 30 points.

Making Sense of Restaurants

While restaurants as a category continue to improve, many brands are reviving faster than others. To try to understand this, we looked at foot traffic data and analyzed the 2019 state exposure of each brand between early vs. late reopened states, alongside the monthly YoY sales growth using Earnest spend data.

Generally speaking, the outperforming brands are the ones with more exposure to earlier reopened states, such as Sonic and Chick-fil-A. However, this variable is not as relevant for online delivery centric brands such as Domino’s, Papa John’s, and Pizza Hut; these brands were even outperforming beginning March and throughout the lockdown. Chipotle’s outperformance can also be attributed to its growing online channel, as it would otherwise be struggling considering over 70% of its foot traffic is in the later reopened states. Finally, Popeyes continues to enjoy its chicken craze.

Foot traffic data and spend performance for restaurants during COVID-19

Travel is Beginning to Move

Travel has begun to show some signs of life. Focusing on the top ten travel merchants in terms of sales in the data, growth at lodging marketplaces HomeAway (which includes Vrbo) and Airbnb have snapped back from the 70%+ declines in late March, growing ~30% to 50% YoY in the last week of May. HomeAway saw over 100% YoY growth during the week of Memorial Day weekend. Airlines are now declining ~65% to 85% YoY from seeing virtually no bookings in late March.

Visualization of travel sales YoY growth during COVID-19

The Impact of Protests

It is unclear to what extent consumer spending was impacted by last week’s protests. While many major cities saw some elements of rioting occur, because it was couched in the context of an already depressed retail environment, it is difficult to identify a clear pause of spending in the data.

That being said, we looked broadly at retail spend across various categories in Atlanta, Minneapolis, and New York City relative to the rest of the country. Atlanta, which was already outperforming because of its early reopening, saw a material dip week over week. Minneapolis, where the stay-at-home order expired on May 17th, saw its growth slow over 10 points last week. And New York City paused its ascend after gradually climbing out of its ~50% YoY decline every week for the past seven weeks.

Includes Apparel, Department Stores, Home, Restaurants, and Sporting Goods


*Stay-at-home order expiration dates were sourced from this New York Times piece.


Apparel: & Other Stories, Abercrombie, Adidas, Aerie, Aeropostale, Aldo, Alton Lane, Altra, America’s Best, American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Aritzia, Ashley Stewart, Asics, Athleta, Babies ”R” Us, Balenciaga, Banana Republic, Bandier, Barclay Jewelers, Baskins, BCBG, Ben Bridge, Betteridge, BHLDN, Boot Barn, Brandy Melville, Brooks Brothers, Buckle, Burberry, BVLGARI, Calvin Klein, Canada Goose, Carter’s, Cartier, Casual Male XL, Catherines, Cato, Cavender’s, Champs, Chanel, Charlotte Russe, Charming Charlie, Chico’s, Chubbies Shorts, Citi Trends, Claire’s, Club Monaco, Coach, Cole Haan, Columbia Sportswear, Converse, Cos, Cotton On, Crocs, Dakota Watch, David Yurman, David’s Bridal, Deckers Generic, Destination XL, Dior, Dressbarn, Drysdales, DSW, Duluth Trading Company, Eddie Bauer, Express, Eyemart Express, Famous Footwear, Fashion to Figure, Ferragamo, Fila Outlet, Finish Line, Fit2Run, Foot Locker, Footaction, Forever 21, Fossil, Francesca’s, Free People, Gap, Generation Tux, Giorgio Armani, Goodwill, Gucci, GUESS, Gymboree, H&M, Hanes, Helzberg Diamonds, Hermes, Hollister, Hot Topic, Hugo Boss, Hurley, Icebreaker, Icing, Ilori, Intermix, It’s Fashion, Ivivva, J.Crew, J.Jill, JackRabbit, Jansport, Jared, Jimmy Choo, Jockey, Johnston & Murphy, Jos. A. Bank, Joseph Abboud, Journeys, Justice, K&G Fashion Superstore, Kate Spade, Kay Jewelers, Kendra Scott Design, Kipling, Kit and Ace, Kmart, L.L. Bean, Lane Bryant, Lee Jeans, Lenscrafters, Levi’s, Lids, Lilly Pulitzer, Littman Jewelers, Loft, London Jewelers, Lone Star Western & Casual, Louis Vuitton, Lucy Activewear, Lululemon, Madewell, Maidenform, Maurices, Men’s Wearhouse, Merrell, Michael Kors, Moncler, Nautica, New York & Company, Nike, NIQUEA.D, North Face, Oakley, Old Navy, Oliver Peoples, Omega, Pacific Sunwear, Pandora Jewelry, Patriot Outfitters, Payless ShoeSource, Pearle Vision, Prada, Puma, Rainbow, Rainbow Shops, Ralph Lauren, Ray Ban, Reebok, Reeds Jewelers, Rochester Clothing, Rothy’s, Rue21, Samsonite, Sanuk, Saucony, Savers, Scrubs, Sears Optical, Shinola, Shoe Carnival, Six:02, Skechers USA, Smartwool,Soma, SPANX, Spencer’s, Sterling Regional, Steve Madden, Stuart Weitzman,Suit Supply, Sunglass Hut, Superga, Swatch, Tailgate Clothing, Talbots, Target Optical, The Children’s Place, Tiffany & Co., Tilly’s, Timberland, Timex, Tommy Bahama, Tommy Hilfiger, TOMS, Torrid, Tory Burch, Tourbillon, Tourneau, True Religion, TUMI, U.S. Patriot Tactical, Ugg, Under Armour, Uniform Advantage, Uniqlo, Unique, Urban Outfitters, Value Village, Vans, Vera Bradley, Versace, Versona, VF Outlet, Victoria’s Secret, Visionworks, White House Black Market, Williamson-Dickie, Wood’s Boots, Zara USA, Zumiez.

Department Stores: Bealls, Belk, Bergdorf Goodman, Bergner’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Burlington Stores, Carson’s, Century 21, cusp, Dd’s Discounts, Dillard’s, Elder-Beerman, Goody’s, Herberger’s, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Last Call, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Marshalls, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom Full Price, Nordstrom Off Price, Off/Aisle, Palais Royal, Peebles, Ross Stores, Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th, Sears, Sierra Trading Post, Stage Stores, Stein Mart, T.J. Maxx, Younkers.

Ecommerce Platforms: Amazon, Etsy, PayPal, Shopify Payments, Stripe.

General Merchandise: 99 Cents Only Stores, BJ’s Ex Fuel, Casey’s General Store, Circle K, Corner Store, Costco Ex Gas, CVS, CVS Copay, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Duane Reade, Duane Reade Copay, Family Dollar, Holiday Station Stores, Murphy USA, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Rite Aid, Rite Aid Copay, Sam’s Club, Target, Walgreens, Walgreens Copay, Walmart.

Grocers: Acme, Albertson’s, Aldi, Big Y, Central Market, Cumberland Farms, Dillons, Fairway Market, Food 4 Less, Food Lion, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Giant Carlisle, Giant Eagle, Giant Landover, Grocery Outlet, Hannaford, Harris Teeter, HEB, Hy-Vee, Ingles Markets, Jewel-Osco, Key Food, King Kullen, King Soopers, Kroger, Lidl, Lowes Foods, Lucky’s Market, Mariano’s, Market Basket, Meijer, Price Chopper Supermarkets, Publix, QFC, Raley’s, Ralphs, Safeway, Save Mart Supermarkets, Schnucks, Shaws, ShopRite, Smart & Final, Smith’s, Sprouts Farmers Market, Stater Bros. Markets, Stop & Shop, The Fresh Market, Tom Thumb Supermarkets, Trader Joe’s, Vons, Wegmans, Weis Markets, Whole Foods Market, WinCo Foods, Winn-Dixie.

Hobbies and Toys: A.C. Moore, Ben Franklin Crafts, BLICK Art Materials, Build-A-Bear Workshop, FAO Schwarz, Guitar Center, Hobby Lobby, Jerry’s Artarama, Jo-Ann Stores, Lovepop, Michaels Stores, Music & Arts, Pat Catan’s, Toys ”R” Us.

Sporting Goods: Academy Sports & Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Cabela’s, City Gear, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Field & Stream, Gander Outdoors, Golf Galaxy, Hibbett Sports, Modell’s Sporting Goods, REI Coop, Sportsman’s Warehouse.

Home Furnishing: Aaron Brothers, American Signature, Arhaus, Art Van, Ashley Furniture, At Home, Bed Bath & Beyond, Big Lots, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Casper, CB2, Chef Central, Crate & Barrel, Gordmans, Havertys, HomeGoods, HomeSense, Kirkland’s, La-Z-Boy (LZB), Mattress Firm, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Pier 1 Imports, Pottery Barn, Raymour & Flanigan, Rejuvenation, Restoration Hardware, Rooms To Go, Sleep Number, Sleep Train, Sleepy’s, Sur La Table, Tempur-Pedic, Terrain,The Container Store, The RoomPlace, The Sill, Tuesday Morning, Value City, Waterworks, Wayfair, West Elm, Williams-Sonoma, World Market.

Home Improvement: Ace Hardware, All Around Landscape Supply, All Pro Horticulture, Allied Building Products, Alterra, American Builders, Angelo’s Supply, Aspen Valley Landscape, Atlantic Irrigation, Auto-Rain Supply, Bissett Nursery, Boston Irrigation Supply, C&C Sand and Stone, Central Pump and Supply, Comex, Cutting Edge, Do it Best, Fastenal, Floor & Decor, Green Resource, Harbor Freight Tools, Harmony Gardens, HD Supply, Home Decorators, Hydro-Scape Products, Kirkwood Material Supply, Landscape Express, Landscaper’s Choice, Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies, Lowe’s, Marshall Stone, Menards, Northwest Marble, Orchard Supply Hardware, Rural King, Shemin Nurseries, Sherwin Williams, SiteOne Landscape Supply, South Coast Supply, Southwood Valley Turf, Stanley Black & Decker, Stone Center, The Home Depot, Tractor Supply, TrueValue, Village Nurseries.

Leisure: Acme Technologies, Adventure Island, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, AMC, AMF, Animal Kingdom, Aquatica, Bowlero, Bowlmor, BrunswickZone, Busch Gardens, Carowinds, Castaway Bay, Cedar Point, Century Theatre, Cinemark, Darien Lake, Dave & Buster’s, Discovery Cove, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Dorney Park, Epcot, Frontier City, Gilroy Gardens, Great America, Kings Dominion, Kings Island, Knotts Berry, Lucky Strike, Magic Kingdom, Main Event, Michigans Adventure, Pinstripes, Punch Bowl Social, Rave, Reading International, Regal Cinemas, Round One, San Diego Zoo, Schlitterbahn, Seaworld, Sesame Place, Six Flags, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord, Tinseltown USA, Topgolf, Universal Studios, Valleyfair, Water Country, White Water Bay, Worlds of Fun.

Meal Kits: Blue Apron, Dinnerly, Freshly, Green Chef, Hello Fresh, Home Chef, Purple Carrot, Sun Basket.

Online Grocers: Amazon Fresh, FoodKick, Fresh Direct, HEB To You, Instacart Purchase, Peapod, Walmart Online Grocery.

Pets: Banfield, Chewy, Pet Supplies Plus, Pet Valu, Petco, PetFirst Healthcare, PetMed Express, Petsense, PetSmart, PrettyLitter, PuppySpot, Trupanion, VetSource, VIP Petcare, WagWalking.

Restaurants: Applebee’s, Arby’s, Baja Fresh, BJ’s Restaurants, Blaze Pizza, Bojangles’, Bonefish Grill, Bubba Gump Shrimp, Buffalo Wild Wings, Burger King, California Pizza Kitchen, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory, Chick-fil-A, Chili’s, Chipotle, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Chuy’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Cracker Barrel, Culver’s, Dairy Queen, Del Frisco’s, Del Taco, Denny’s, Domino’s Pizza, Dunkin’ Brands, Dutch Bros. Coffee, El Pollo Loco, Firehouse Subs, Five Guys, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Golden Corral, Habit Restaurants, Hardee’s, Hooters, IHOP, In-N-Out Burger, Jack in the Box, Jason’s Deli, Jersey Mike’s Subs, KFC, Krispy Kreme, Little Caesars, LongHorn Steakhouse, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Marco’s Pizza, McAlister’s Deli, McDonald’s, Mellow Mushroom, Miller’s Ale House, MISSION BBQ, MOD Pizza, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Noodles, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, P.F. Chang’s, Panda Express, Panera Bread, Papa John’s, Papa Murphy’s, Peet’s Coffee, Pizza Hut, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Portillo’s, Potbelly, Pret A Manger, Qdoba, Raising Cane’s, Red Lobster, Red Robin, Ruby Tuesday, Ruth’s Chris, Schlotzsky’s, Shake Shack, Smashburger, Sonic Drive-In, Starbucks, Subway, sweetgreen, Taco Bell, Taco Cabana, Texas Roadhouse, TGI Fridays, Torchys, Twin Peaks, Waffle House, Wendy’s, Whataburger, Wingstop, Yard House, Zaxby’s, Zoe’s Kitchen.

Restaurant Delivery: Caviar,, DoorDash, GrubHub and Seamless, Postmates, UberEATS, Waitr.

Sporting Goods: Academy Sports & Outdoors, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Cabela’s, City Gear, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Field & Stream, Gander Outdoors, Golf Galaxy, Hibbett Sports, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Moosejaw, Mystery Tackle Box, Razor, REI Coop, Sportsman’s Warehouse, SquadLocker, Tackle Warehouse.

Travel: AC Hotels by Marriott, Airbnb, Alamo Rent a Car, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, Aloft Hotels, American Airlines, AmericInn, Andaz, Avis, Baymont, Best Western, Budget, Budget Truck, Cambria Hotels, Canopy, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Clarion, Classic Vacation, Comfort Inn, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard, Crowne Plaza, Cunard, Days Inn, Delta Airlines, Delta Hotels, Disney Cruise Line, Dollar Rent A Car, DoubleTree, Econo Lodge, EDITION, Egencia, Embassy Suites, Enterprise, Enterprise CarShare, Expedia, Fairfield by Marriott, Four Points, Gaylord Hotels, Grand Hyatt, Hampton, Hawthorn, Hertz, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Resort, Holland America Line, Home2 Suites, HomeAway, Homewood Suites, Hotel Indigo,,, Howard Johnson, Hyatt, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt House, Hyatt Place, Hyatt Regency, InterContinental, JetBlue, JW Marriott, Kimpton, La Quinta, Le Meridien, Mainstay Suites, Marriott Hotels, Marriott Vacation Club, Megabus, Microtel, Moxy Hotels, National Car Rental, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Orbitz, Park Hyatt, Payless Car,, Princess Cruises, Quality Inn, Ramada, Regent Seven Seas, Renaissance Hotels, Residence Inn, Rodeway Inn, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Seabourn, Sheraton, Silversea Cruises, Sleep Inn, Southwest, Spirit Airlines, SpringHill Suites, St. Regis, Suburban Extended Stay, Super 8, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, Thrifty Car, TownePlace Suites, Travelocity, Travelodge, Tru, Trump Hotels, TRYP, United Airlines, W Hotels, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Westin, Wingate, Woodspring Suites, Wyndham, Wyndham Garden, Wyndham Grand, Zipcar.

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