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INRIX Report: 2021 Brick and Mortar Holiday Shopping Inched Closer to Pre-Pandemic Levels

INRIX provides unique insight into the movement of people and commerce across transportation networks worldwide. Our services help millions of drivers find a better way to go as well as help cities make our transportation networks work smarter. (PRNewsfoto/INRIX)

– The share of shoppers hitting the mall before the holiday shopping season increased from 14% to 16% compared to last year, while those visiting the mall after shopping season decreased from 33% to 29%

– Los Angeles saw the largest jump in retail visits during the holiday shopping season with an increase of 52% over 2020 levels, followed by Chicago (27%), Austin (26%), New York (24%) and Atlanta (14%)

– Austin was the closest to 2019 in-person holiday shopping levels at -14% below, followed by Chicago (-17%), Atlanta (-23%), New York (-27%) and Los Angeles (-28%)

– New York saw the largest decrease in post-holiday “returns” at -38% from 2019, followed by Los Angeles (-36%), Chicago (-28%), Atlanta (-27%) and Austin (-25%)

INRIX, Inc., a world leader in mobility analytics and connected car services, released updated findings to its July report that examined the pandemic’s impact on brick and mortar retail. Using INRIX® IQ Location Analytics and INRIX Trip Data, INRIX Research found that trips to physical retail locations during the 2021 holiday shopping season improved dramatically since 2020’s downturn in visits.

Holiday trips, defined as Thanksgiving to Christmas, saw significant increases year-over-year in five metro areas: Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. The report also found that consumers shopped earlier, likely due to warnings of supply chain disruptions and pandemic restrictions. Retail locations in Austin and Chicago saw the same or more visitors in the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving compared to pre-COVID levels.

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“Location and trip insights are more important than ever before as consumer habits continue to shift,” said Bob Pishue, Transportation Analyst for INRIX. “INRIX provides businesses with timely intelligence to help make more confident, calculated decisions, adapt to new challenges and better reach their customers during these unpredictable times.”

However, as COVID-19 omicron variant cases surged in the U.S., in-person returns to malls in the weeks after Christmas decreased significantly from 2019 across all five metros, with New York experiencing the largest decrease in “returns”.

Overall, INRIX found slight shifts in the timing of holiday shopping. The share of shoppers hitting the mall before the holiday shopping season increased from 14% to 16% compared to last year, while those visiting the mall after shopping season decreased from 33% to 29%.

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