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IPFS News Link • Business/ Commerce

Gas Prices Cut Into Retail Foot Traffic

• by Dees Stribling

Overall visits to physical retailers dropped by 4.3% during the week of March 7, 2022, compared to the equivalent week in 2019, the company found. That is the steepest drop in weekly retail foot traffic over the past 12 months that can't be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic or holiday shopping patterns.

During the week of March 14, the most recent week for which data is available, foot traffic edged up slightly, but not enough to change the overall downward trend, reports. 

"Although consumers had largely shrugged off price inflation over the past several months — perhaps due to mass merchants and larger format grocers' willingness to keep price increases in check — the spike in gas prices appears to be having a marked impact," the report says. 

Historically, sudden sizable increases in gas prices have disrupted retail visitation trends, so the recent drop isn't too surprising, according to the report.

So far gas prices and inflation haven't had an impact on overall U.S. retail spending, though the most recent data is from February, as reported by the Census Bureau in mid-March