Industry performance and leading indicators of an improved outlook are top of mind as we enter week 8 of the COVID-19 crisis.
On the restaurant side, sales and visits bottomed out in late March and were down between 60 and 70 percent when compared to pre-COVID trends. Today things have improved so that sales are now “only” down 50 percent as compared with pre-COVID, up from a low of 60-70 percent.
In the chart below, you can see the following:
- Beginning around March 12, 2020, restaurant sales declined rapidly, and by March 18 week-on week sales were down more than 50%.
- The decline continued until late March, by which time sales were down ~60-70% from pre-COVID levels.
- Sales stabilized from late March until around April 7, 2020.
- Since April 7, 2020, we have seen sales start to recover. Every day (except two of them) has seen higher sales than the previous week. The large spike was caused by Easter Sunday.
- ‘Overall, restaurant sales are up 10% from the time sales bottomed out in March and are now at approximately 50% of pre-COVID levels.
Every year, Paytronix honors the clients that are doing amazing things on the PXS platform with the Loyaltees Awards. It honors the brands using Paytronix to drive truly innovative marketing and loyalty programs.
Last year Caribou Coffee earned recognition for a program that brought together Paytronix software and services to build promotional strategies that used historical data to refine and improve results. Bruster’s Ice Cream, meanwhile, earned kudos for a program that converted traditional punch cards into a modern loyalty program that not only reached 16% penetration in six months, but also drove an increase in traffic during its traditional shoulder seasons of September and January. Also on the list was Break Time for implementing a monthly rewards challenge that boosted customer spend by more than 25% at its convenience stores.
When it comes to New Year’s Eve, the wine aisle is the place to be in C-Stores.
As the clock ticked down on 2019, we found that people turned to their C-stores for alcohol to fuel the night. By examining a sampling of sales at 100 C-stores across the Midwest, we saw a significant spike in alcohol sales overall, but wine represented a nearly 400% in revenue over a comparable day. Beer and liquor did well, with a 200% increase, but that’s half of the revenue from wine.
What if most stores – and even Amazon – are getting frictionless shopping wrong? What would it mean for brands that are trying to do things differently?
Kim Otocki, a member of the Paytronix marketing team, recently had the opportunity to sit down with Gus Olympidis, the president and CEO of Family Express. His c-store brand has firmly established itself as a leader in the frictionless experience, and Olympidis had a lot of wisdom to offer other c-store owners who are trying to follow suit.