Location Data: Kohl’s Store Visits Benefit from Amazon Partnership

Location data is extremely useful for business intelligence, decision-making, competitive analysis, product planning and many other purposes beyond advertising and attribution (see Factual webinar). This is illustrated in GroundTruth’s Q2 2018 Retail Foot Traffic Snapshot, which shows how the retail market is evolving.

It uses location data to track emerging retail trends. The report focuses on the rise of discount department stores at the expense of higher-end retailers and suggests it’s a long-term development:

Amidst the news of department stores closing their doors, several retailers are starting to focus more on the “off-price” market to mirror the relative success of stores like Marshalls and Ross. For example Macy’s will add off-price sections to about 100 more stores this year after observing a sales increase of 7% relative to similar “control” stores without Backstage outlets.

Foot traffic shows a similar story. With the exception of Macy’s, all discount department stores outperformed their parent stores in QoQ growth in share of foot traffic. Nordstrom Rack saw the largest increase at +0.25%


While retailers will have sales and presumably visitation data about their own stores, they typically don’t have an industry wide perspective other than aggregate retail sales data, which is reported months after the fact. Foot traffic reporting allows them to have more context for their own information in near real time.

Another interesting insight from the report is the benefits that Kohl’s is reaping from a controversial partnership with Amazon, which was widely criticized by the retailer’s industry peers when it was announced last year. The company agreed last fall to start accepting returns items purchased on Amazon.

Despite the industry’s conventional wisdom that the deal was unwise — since it would presumably help boost Amazon — GroundTruth data shows that “Kohl’s locations that offer Amazon returns have seen a +0.8% increase in foot traffic share within the Kohl’s brand.”

GroundTruth and other location leaders will be presenting retail and brand case studies at the Place Conference on September 13 in New York. This is the one event dedicated to location intelligence and how it’s being deployed across a wide range of use cases: from audience segmentation and offline attribution to media planning and competitive intelligence. 

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