Banks, hardware stores, liquor stores, and grocery: These businesses are seeing foot-traffic bursts amid the coronavirus pandemic

  • The coronavirus pandemic is having a monumental impact on businesses around the US.
  • While some businesses have been forced to shutter and seen foot traffic dry up completely, others are grappling with a surge in demand.
  • Foursquare has gathered foot traffic data in major cities across the US to see how different consumer services are faring during this difficult time. Grocery stores, warehouse stores, and hardware stores have seen big increases in foot traffic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Much of the US is in lockdown mode as consumers have been advised to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While the restrictions vary by state, in some places all “nonessential” businesses have been asked to close, which includes anything from gyms and salons to clothing stores and movie theaters.

But other businesses deemed “essential” during the crisis are seeing a surge in demand.

Foursquare has gathered data to show how foot traffic trends changed in major cities across the US from February 19 to March 20. Here are the types of businesses that have seen increases in foot traffic:

Consumers flocked to banks to prepare financially for the crisis.

Courtesy of Foursquare

According to Foursquare, foot traffic to banks spiked around March 5, when the first few coronavirus deaths were reported in the US.

“People may have gone to their local bank branches to withdraw cash, apply for a loan, or otherwise make financial arrangements as the outbreak worsened,” Foursquare noted.

Since then foot traffic has returned to more normal levels.

Hardware stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s have seen a surge in demand in recent weeks.

Courtesy of Foursquare

Between February 19 and March 20, foot traffic to hardware stores was up 26% in the US.

Reports from workers in stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s revealed that shoppers were buying items such as freezers to store supplies while preparing for self-isolation.

According to Foursquare, visits to hardware stores increased in Seattle and New York in particular during this time period.

Liquor stores have also seen increased foot traffic as customers are forced to stay at home.

Courtesy of Foursquare

With many bars and restaurants closed across the US, consumers have no choice but to drink at home.

According to Foursquare, the spike in visits to liquor stores started around March 11, shortly before the NBA shut down and Tom Hanks confirmed that he had tested positive for coronavirus, which may have made the outbreak “feel more ‘real’ to American consumers,” Foursquare wrote.

New York seems to be the thirstiest of all cities examined by Foursquare, with liquor stores seeing a 29% increase in visits between February 19 and March 20.

Costco and its competitors are obvious choices for those stocking up.

Courtesy of Foursquare

Warehouse chains have experienced a surge in demand in recent weeks as consumers stock up on supplies.

According to Foursquare, these stores with locations in New York have seen a particular spike in the past month.

Grocery chains are seeing a similar trend to warehouse stores.

Courtesy of Foursquare

Grocery stores are universally considered to be “essential” businesses that should stay open.

And panicked shoppers have been flooding these stores across the US since the outbreak began. Foursquare data shows that there was a “sharp spike” in visits to these stores after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, indicating that consumers concerned about having access to food were stocking up to prepare for the worst.