Grocers enjoyed an 83.7% boost in customer foot traffic on Turkey Wednesday compared to the average day in Q4 2022. / Photo courtesy: Shutterstock
You’ve heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday—but what about Turkey Wednesday?
It’s the day before Thanksgiving and the biggest grocery shopping day of the year, according to a Placer.ai report released Friday.
The report “Looking Ahead: Lessons From the 2022 Holiday Season” analyzed trends around the last year’s holiday season, showing that grocers enjoyed an 83.7% boost in customer foot traffic on Turkey Wednesday compared to the average day in Q4 2022.
In 2022, Turkey Wednesday even bested the day before Christmas Eve, which saw a 62.6% increase in shoppers compared to the quarterly average.
While inflation-battered shoppers are more focused on finding deals this year, a report released Thursday by research firm Circana revealed that nearly four out of five shoppers (79%) plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with their usual traditions, even though more than a third (34%) expect to pay more.
This could be an opportunity for grocers looking to capture younger shoppers with sales, as 44% of Gen Z and Millennials said they’ll be looking for deals as the day approaches, according to Circana.
“Manufacturers and retailers have the opportunity to help consumers, many of whom continue to buy on deal, and celebrate Thanksgiving as they always have by understanding their specific needs and targeting promotions effectively,” said Joan Driggs, Ciricana’s vice president of Content and Thought Leadership, in a statement. “There is also significant value in gaining a complete view of consumers and their purchasing strategies, such as plans to source dishes from both home and retail as well as restaurant and foodservice.”
Placer.ai data reached similar conclusions, showing that discount grocer Aldi was the big winner of 2022 Turkey Wednesday foot traffic compared to the previous year, gaining 15.6% year over year. No-frills grocer WinCo Foods came in second with a year-over-year increase of 13.4%.
Giant gained a 9% annual increase in shoppers, followed by Hy-Vee at 7.7%, ShopRite at 7.5%, HEB and Walmart both at 7.2%, Food Lion at 7.1%, Trader Joe’s at 6.5%, Ralphs at 6.3% and the overal grocery industry at 3.4%, according to Placer.ai.
While Thanksgiving shopping produced the biggest grocery shopping day of the year in 2022, the $2.8 billion boost in sales for the season was dwarfed by the overall Christmas holiday shopping season, which experienced a sales increase of $6.2 billion, according to the Circana study.
That could be due in part to the lengthier visits shoppers are making at the stores, according to Placer.ai, which noted that on “Christmas Eve Eve” they spent between 4% to 14.8% longer in the store than in the previous 22 days.
“Some of this increased visit duration may be due to bigger crowds and longer lines. But holiday cheer may also be at play, as people relax and take more time to browse the aisles,” the Placer.ai report said. “Either way, longer dwell time offers retailers a prime opportunity to interact with customers and increase basket size.”
That could be a boost for grocers operating retail media networks, due to the greater amount of time to reach consumers as they make their way through the store, the report said.