Where States Stand: Measuring the Reopenings One Step at a Time


As state economies begin to reopen across the country, we looked at spend and foot traffic data to analyze how consumers are responding. 

Image Source: NPR

Key Takeaways

  • Nationwide, consumers are going out more (modestly). Total consumer foot traffic and spending YoY declines have improved ~10 percentage points from their lows in late March, yet both still remain down 30%+ YoY. This improvement is likely a combination of the stimulus payouts and the start of several state economies reopening.
  • Least hard-hit states coming out faster. States that saw the lowest YoY declines throughout the crisis are generally re-emerging faster, and they are understandably also the ones that have begun to reopen.
  • Aggressive reopening plans not leading to fastest revivals. Georgia was one of the earliest states to reopen yet it is not among the fastest reviving states. Meanwhile, Louisiana’s stay at home order has not yet expired, but it is at the top of the list of reviving states.
  • Fastest re-emerging sectors include Home Improvement, Sporting Goods, Liquor Stores, QSR Restaurants, and Pet Stores. The slowest are Bowling, Airports, Malls, Theme Parks, and Casinos. Apparel and Department Stores have not shown any signs of life just yet.
  • Companies’ geographic exposure matters. Home Depot and Lowe’s highlight how exposure to faster re-emerging areas can matter in the short-term, with Lowe’s having less exposure to NY and CA and more exposure to GA and SC (relative to Home Depot), and is thus growing materially faster than Home Depot.

Consumers are Going Out and Spending More (Modestly)

Total consumer foot traffic declines have improved 10 percentage points from the lows in late March, yet still remain down 39% YoY. 

In terms of spend data, consumer spending growth shows a similar 11 point improvement, from the 44% YoY declines in late March to 33% declines in the most recent week. Our research indicates that this mid-to-late April improvement likely began as a result of the stimulus payouts, followed by several state economies beginning to reopen.

Least Hard-Hit States Coming Out Faster

States that saw the lowest YoY foot traffic declines in the peak of the crisis (late March) are generally re-emerging faster, and with few exceptions, they are understandably also the ones that have begun to reopen, such as Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Meanwhile, hard-hit DC, New York, Nevada, and New Jersey are coming off their lows, but at a slower rate. 

This is largely corroborated by spend data. We looked at brick and mortar retail sales across several retail categories (see Appendix) and analyzed performance between the shut down and reopened states*. Interestingly, the stocking up behavior that we saw in March in the shut down states slightly outpaced the reopened states, and since then, overall spending has been hit harder, declining on average 20% YoY, 5 points lower than the reopened states’ 15%. In the most recent week, this underperformance has moved to 10 points lower. Importantly, though, this underperformance was largely manifest even prior to the reopenings.

Early Reopenings Not Leading to Fastest Revivals

In general, the states coming off the lows fastest are all states that originally saw more limited restrictions. Georgia was one of the earliest states to reopen yet is not among the fastest reviving states to date. Meanwhile, Louisiana’s stay at home order has not officially expired, but it is among the fastest reviving states in terms of both foot traffic and spending. 

Fastest Re-emerging Sectors: Home Improvement & Sporting Goods 

Among the states that are emerging the fastest, the sectors showing the most strength include Home Improvement, Sporting Goods, Liquor Stores, QSR Restaurants, and Pet Stores. The slowest include Bowling, Airports, Malls, Theme Parks, and Casinos. 

*Includes bowling venues and social golfing like Top Golf and Drive Shack

Consumer spending largely mirrors several of these trends. Home Improvement, a sector that was never really closed and is not exactly ‘re-emerging,’ continues to accelerate during this first leg of reopenings. Sporting Goods and Home Furnishing are seeing revivals of ~30 points, Restaurants and Pets are seeing revivals of ~20 points, though all these categories are still declining ~10 to 50% YoY. Travel, Leisure, Apparel, and Department Stores have not shown any signs of life just yet.

Company Exposure to Faster Growing Areas Matter

Home Depot and Lowe’s highlight how exposure to faster re-emerging states can matter in the short-term, with the latter having more exposure and thus growing faster than the former. Specifically, most of Lowe’s’ top states (as % of total foot traffic) are from these faster re-emerging states like TX, FL, GA, and SC, among others. Meanwhile, Home Depot has significantly more exposure to slower states like CA and NY.

The result is meaningfully faster growth as measured by both our foot traffic data and spend data, which we illustrate in the chart below. While there are certainly other factors at play, including Home Depot’s larger “pro” business, we suspect that geographic exposure is a key driver. Note that the spend data is in-store transaction growth (excludes transaction size) to make it more apples/apples with the foot traffic data. 

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*Shut down states include California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin. All other states are defined as reopened. Groups were sourced from this New York Times piece.

Appendix – list of merchants by category

Foot Traffic Data

Home Improvement: Ace Hardware, Carpet One, Floor & Decor, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Lumber Liquidators, Menards, Sears Hardware, Sherwin Williams, Tractor Supply, TrueValue

Liquor Stores: ABC Fine Wine and Spirits, Bevmo, Binny’s Beverage Depot, Specs, Total Wine

Pet Stores:  Petco, PetSmart, Pet Supermarket, Pet Supplies Plus, Unleashed By Petco

QSR: A&W, Arby’s, Baskin Robbins, Blimpie, Bojangles’, Burger King, Captain D’s, Carl’s Jr, Checkers, Chick-fil-A, Church’s Chicken, Dairy Queen, Del Taco, Domino’s Pizza, El Pollo Loco, Fazoli’s, Five Guys, Green Burrito, Hardees, In-N-Out Burger, Jack in the Box, Jamba Juice, Jersey Mike’s Subs, KFC, Krispy Kreme, Krystal Burger, Long John Silvers, McDonald’s, Papa John’s, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Quiznos, Raising Canes, Rallys, Schlotzskys, Sonic, Subway, Taco Bell, Taco Johns, Wendy’s, Whataburger, White Castle

Sporting Goods: Academy, Arcteryx, Bass Pro Shops, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Cabela’s, Columbia Sportswear, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Edwin Watts, Gander Mountain, Golfer’s Warehouse, Golf Galaxy, Golf Mart, Golfsmith, Last Chance, Marmot, Moosejaw, PGA, REI, Roger Dunn, Scheels, The North Face, Title Nine, Uinta, Van’s Golf


Athletic Recreation: AMF, Drive Shack, Top Golf

Casinos: Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment, Churchill Downs, Eldorado Resorts, Empire Resorts, Full House Resorts, Golden Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, Monarch Casino and Resorts, Penn National Gaming, Pinnacle Entertainment, Red Rock Resorts, Tropicana Entertainment, Wynn Resorts

Theme Parks: Cedar Fair Amusement Parks, Disneyland, Disneyworld, SeaWorld, Six Flags

Spend Data

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.

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.

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.

Pets: Banfield, Pet Supplies Plus, Pet Valu, Petco, PetFirst Healthcare, Petsense, PetSmart, PuppySpot, VetSource.

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.

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.

Travel: AC Hotels by Marriott, Alamo Rent a Car, Alaska Airlines, Aloft Hotels, AmericInn, Andaz, Avis, Baymont, Best Western, Budget, Budget Truck, Cambria Hotels, Canopy, Clarion, Comfort Inn, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard, Crowne Plaza, Days Inn, Delta Hotels, Disney Cruise Line, Dollar Rent A Car, DoubleTree,  Econo Lodge, EDITION, Embassy Suites, Enterprise, 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, Home2 Suites, Homewood Suites, Hotel Indigo, Howard Johnson, Hyatt, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt House, Hyatt Place, Hyatt Regency, InterContinental, JW Marriott, Kimpton, La Quinta, Le Meridien, Mainstay Suites, Marriott Hotels, Marriott Vacation Club, Microtel, Moxy Hotels, National Car Rental, Park Hyatt, Payless Car, Quality Inn, Ramada, Renaissance Hotels, Residence Inn, Rodeway Inn, Sheraton, Sleep Inn, SpringHill Suites, St. Regis, Suburban Extended Stay, Super 8, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz-Carlton, Thrifty Car, TownePlace Suites, Travelodge, Tru, Trump Hotels, TRYP, W Hotels, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Westin, Wingate, Woodspring Suites, Wyndham, Wyndham Garden, Wyndham Grand.

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