Target holiday shopper traffic growth topped Walmart, Best Buy

Target holiday shopper traffic growth topped Walmart, Best Buy



Shopper foot traffic grew at Target

Photo: Reuters

The store data could provide early clues to help investors separate winners from losers after a holiday season marked by the coronavirus pandemic and inventory shortages arising from a supply chain logjam.

Shopper traffic at Target stores rose 6.2% through the holiday period compared with two years ago, pre-pandemic, according to, a research firm that collects anonymized location data from 30 million mobile devices across the country. At rivals Walmart Inc and Best Buy Co Inc, traffic declined by 0.1% and 11.5%, respectively, the data shows.

Target, Walmart and Best Buy declined to comment.

U.S. November-December traffic was also eroded by people shopping earlier than usual in the 2021 holiday season.

Marshal Cohen, NPD Group

Still, Cohen said that people worried about COVID-19 have changed the way they shop, increasingly going online which is “a challenge” for some retailers.

According to Refinitiv I/B/E/S, Target’s holiday quarter sales are expected to rise by more than a third versus 2019, while Walmart’s revenue is forecast to rise by about 7% and Best Buy sales are expected rise by about 10%.

Target store traffic increased in every part of the country except Hawaii and Washington D.C., with footfall rising nearly 24% in Vermont and Idaho, compared with 2019, according to

Despite Target’s strong holiday season traffic, the retailer’s fourth-quarter profit margin is expected to narrow to 25.35% from 27.10% two years ago, due in part to supply-chain logjams.


Walmart traffic declined in 20 states – mostly coastal areas, with the retailer harder hit in Florida, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. It had higher traffic in several parts of the country, with shoppers going to its stores in many midwestern and southern states.

Best Buy’s footfall fell in all but four U.S. states during the period. Analysts have said the electronics retailer was likely unable to source enough products, including TVs and consoles, amid a global chip shortage.


Overall foot traffic to U.S. stores fell each week from Nov. 1 to Dec. 25 compared with the same weeks in pre-pandemic 2019, according to data from Sensormatic.

“Ever since the COVID lifestyle began, Target has pretty much led the way,” Cohen said. “They’ve had fewer out-of-stocks; they were aggressive with promotions even when Amazon

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