Every month, we estimate how the retail economies of 30 major US metropolitan areas are recovering from COVID-19. By aggregating numerous metrics (across retail sales, local economic indicators, and virus spread), our model predicts that these metropolitan areas will face differing levels of COVID-19 disruption.

This month, we added a new variable to our retail recovery map: statewide vaccine rollout. As of Friday, March 19, 2021, the average rate of those who had had at least one vaccine dose in the regions we evaluate was 22%. Although the vaccination rate is promising, retail foot traffic is still down year-over-year 11% on average for these regions.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen some states remove COVID-19 restrictions, like requirements to wear masks inside businesses. Some metro areas, like Houston and Dallas, are seeing “negative social distancing” (i.e., the average mobility in those metro areas is higher than it was in comparable pre-pandemic times).

This month, the strongest retail economies are in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and Kansas City. Some of our weakest estimated retail recoveries are in the country’s two largest metro areas: New York and Los Angeles.

If you would like to see the data behind these metrics or see more metropolitan areas, please contact your Forrester account representative, schedule an inquiry with me, or email Madeline Cyr, researcher, at mcyr@forrester.com.