The Omicron variant dealt the retail and office sectors a major setback in their journeys toward a return to post-COVID normalcy, but foot traffic data from Placer.ai reveals that a "significant recovery" was underway by mid-February of this year.

The new variant disrupted retail visits even more than Delta earlier this winter.  Brick and mortar retail visits recovered steadily in the summer of 2021, creating a summer peak with visits up anywhere between 6 and 9% year-over-two-year.  Urban retail foot traffic showed a somewhat uneven recovery across major metros, with New York City suffering most, but summer foot traffic in the Big Apple was nearly back to pre-COVID levels.

But by late August, the Delta variant had pushed visits back into negative territory over 2019 comparisons across the country.  As of January 24, 2022, foot traffic for overall retail visits was down 7.7% over January 2019 numbers, but that number has decreased significantly as infections waned.

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