Data Shows Shoppers Heading Back Into Physical Stores

shopper with bags

Foot traffic is returning to brick-and-mortar stores after an unprecedented year of pandemic-fueled online shopping, according to a Monday (April 5) report in, citing Zenreach data.

Since the start of this year, retail foot traffic is up 12.5 percent compared to the same period in 2020, according to Zenreach, makers of software for physical retailers. January through March of this year saw a steady increase in foot traffic, up 28.5 percent since Jan. 1.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington (DFW) region of Texas has experienced the biggest jump in shoppers returning to physical stores, up 52 percent since Jan. 1. The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario section of California has seen a 39 percent increase in foot traffic.

The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area has witnessed a 36 percent surge in shoppers at brick and mortar stores, followed by the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land region of Texas, which has experienced a 35 percent increase.

The number of in-store visits at Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta has increased by more than 26 percent. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise has seen a 14 percent rise. New Orleans-Metairie has experienced a nearly 13 percent rise in the number of people visiting stores since Jan. 1.

“The past year has been full of starts and stops, which creates uncertainty and makes it challenging for business owners to understand where the market is headed. However, the positive momentum we’ve seen over the past quarter reflects the pent-up consumer demand and shows that people are anxious to get back to some level of normalcy,” Megan Wintersteen, vice president at Zenreach, told 

“This should signal to brick-and-mortar businesses that it’s time to start considering what operations look like as we start to transition to a post-COVID world: expanding their hours, bringing back staff, and ultimately picking up their marketing efforts again to work towards bringing back their existing customer base and recruiting new customers, as well,” said Wintersteen.

The new normal post-pandemic is still playing out as May 1 — the date vaccinations will be open for all nationwide — draws closer and new cases of coronavirus cases continue to drop. PYMNTS research conducted over the past year shows that people don’t expect a real normal to happen until March of 2022.