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The impact of colleges and universities on local business 2020:

Indiana University Bloomington


Colleges and universities are everywhere. Big cities, small towns, in every corner of the United States, there’s bound to be a degree-offering institution nearby. And, subsequently, a whole lot of students nearby as well.

There are an estimated 18 to 20 million students enrolled in public and private colleges in America today. And in many communities, those students make up a huge portion of the local economy.

In this groundbreaking study, we analyzed data at local businesses in Bloomington to see what kind of impact major events during the school year at Indiana University has on local businesses.

NOTE: You can view other industries by selecting them from the dropdown at the top of each section in this report

The average year at local businesses in Bloomington

Select an industry:

Before we examine major school year events like spring break and the college football season, let’s take a look at the year as a whole.

Annual sales at restaurants in Bloomington from week-to-week.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5

5/3/19

Finals Week

3/29/19

March Madness

4/7/19

4/5/19

4/26/19

Friday Friday Sunday Friday Friday

Above are the top five days of the year for Bloomington restaurants. This means that on these days, more total dollars were spent at restaurants in Bloomington than on any other day of the year.

Before we examine major school year events like spring break and the college football season, let’s take a look at the year as a whole.

Annual sales at retail shops in Bloomington from week-to-week.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5

12/23/19

5/31/19

12/21/19

Weekend before Christmas

12/6/19

Football

12/20/19

Football - Bowl

Weekend before Christmas

Monday Friday Saturday Friday Friday

Above are the top five days of the year for Bloomington retail shops. This means that on these days, more total dollars were spent at retail shops in Bloomington than on any other day of the year.

Spring Break

Select an industry:

As the weather warms up and students get to take the week off, how are local restaurants around Indiana University impacted by spring break?

Do enough students leave town to see sales dip? Or do sales go up with an influx of vacationing students? We crunched the numbers to find out:

Avg. revenue: spring break Avg. transactions: spring break Avg. ticket price: spring break
-37%
vs avg day
-40%
vs avg day
+4%
vs avg day
-31%
vs avg day during March
-38%
vs avg day during March
+12%
vs avg day during March

During the week of spring break, restaurants in and around Bloomington earned 37% less than an average day throughout the year, and 31% less than on an average day during the month of march.

 

Spring break was the number 45 week of the year for Bloomington restaurants. Examine the chart above for a closer look at how much revenue went up or down throughout the week of spring break.

As the weather warms up and students get to take the week off, how are local retail shops around Indiana University impacted by spring break?

Do enough students leave town to see sales dip? Or do sales go up with an influx of vacationing students? We crunched the numbers to find out:

Avg. revenue: spring break Avg. transactions: spring break Avg. ticket price: spring break
-5%
vs avg day
-14%
vs avg day
+11%
vs avg day
+24%
vs avg day during March
+29%
vs avg day during March
-4%
vs avg day during March

During the week of spring break, retail shops in and around Bloomington earned 5% less than an average day throughout the year, and 24% more than on an average day during the month of march.

 

March Madness

Select an industry:

March Madness is easily one of the biggest sporting events of the year across the United States. And you’d assume that would go double for college towns.

But does the fervor surrounding the Big Dance translate to big sales numbers for restaurants around Indiana University?

To find out, we analyzed revenue at restaurants in Bloomington on game days for each round of the tournament and compared it to the average revenue those Bloomington experienced on similar days of the week during the rest of the year.

Throughout the entire tournamment, on days when games were being played, restaurants earned 37% more than on similar days. Examine the chart above to see how revenue was impacted during each round of the tournament

March Madness was actually so big for Bloomington restaurants, that one of their top five days of the year were during the tournament.

March Madness is easily one of the biggest sporting events of the year across the United States. And you’d assume that would go double for college towns.

But does the fervor surrounding the Big Dance translate to big sales numbers for retail shops around Indiana University?

To find out, we analyzed revenue at retail shops in Bloomington on game days for each round of the tournament and compared it to the average revenue those Bloomington experienced on similar days of the week during the rest of the year.

Throughout the entire tournamment, on days when games were being played, retail shops earned 6% less than on similar days. Examine the chart above to see how revenue was impacted during each round of the tournament

Finals Week

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The end of spring semester is perhaps the most-anticipated time of the year for college students around the country.

When final exams are in the rear window, do students celebrate by spending at local businesses? Does the extra revenue of family members visiting to attend commencement make a difference?

Let's find out.

Avg. revenue: finals Avg. transactions: finals Avg. ticket price: finals
+29%
vs avg day
+17%
vs avg day
+9%
vs avg day
+41%
vs avg day during May
+34%
vs avg day during May
+4%
vs avg day during May

During the week of final exams, restaurants in and around Bloomington earned 29% more than an average day throughout the year, and 42% more than on an average day during the months of April and May.

 

Finals week was the number 2 week of the year for Bloomington restaurants. Examine the chart above for a closer look at how much revenue was impacted throughout the week of finals.

The end of spring semester is perhaps the most-anticipated time of the year for college students around the country.

When final exams are in the rear window, do students celebrate by spending at local businesses? Does the extra revenue of family members visiting to attend commencement make a difference?

Let's find out.

Avg. revenue: finals Avg. transactions: finals Avg. ticket price: finals
-13%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day
-14%
vs avg day
-23%
vs avg day during May
+0%
vs avg day during May
-23%
vs avg day during May

During the week of final exams, retail shops in and around Bloomington earned 14% less than an average day throughout the year, and 23% less than on an average day during the months of April and May.

 

Finals week was the number 25 week of the year for Bloomington retail shops. Examine the chart above for a closer look at how much revenue was impacted throughout the week of finals.

Back to School

Select an industry:

As summer ends and students come flocking back to Indiana University, do local restaurants see a major boost in sales?

Here's what we learned

Avg. revenue: back to school Avg. transactions: back to school Avg. ticket price: back to school
+29%
vs avg day
+43%
vs avg day
-9%
vs avg day
+26%
vs avg day during August
+42%
vs avg day during August
-11%
vs avg day during August

 

The week that classes began at Indiana University saw Bloomington restaurants earn 29% more than an average day throughout the year, and 26% more than on an average day during the month of August.

Examine the chart above for a closer look at how much revenue at restaurants were impacted during the first week of classes at Indiana University. (Classes resumed on Monday, August 26)

As summer ends and students come flocking back to Indiana University, do local retail shops see a major boost in sales?

Here's what we learned

Avg. revenue: back to school Avg. transactions: back to school Avg. ticket price: back to school
+11%
vs avg day
+15%
vs avg day
-3%
vs avg day
+44%
vs avg day during August
+41%
vs avg day during August
+1%
vs avg day during August

 

The week that classes began at Indiana University saw Bloomington retail shops earn 12% more than an average day throughout the year, and 44% more than on an average day during the month of August.

Examine the chart above for a closer look at how much revenue at retail shops were impacted during the first week of classes at Indiana University. (Classes resumed on Monday, August 26)

Football

Select an industry:

In most parts of the country, the college football season is the highlight of the year for students and locals alike.

But does college football fever in Bloomington translate to big bucks for local businesses?

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Avg. revenue:
Saturdays during football
Avg. transactions:
Saturdays during football
Avg. ticket price:
Saturdays during football
+21%
vs avg Saturday
+41%
vs avg Saturday
-14%
vs avg Saturday

On Saturdays throughout the college football season, Bloomington restaurants earned 21% more than an average Saturday during the rest of the year.

In most parts of the country, the college football season is the highlight of the year for students and locals alike.

But does college football fever in Bloomington translate to big bucks for local businesses?

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

Avg. revenue:
Saturdays during football
Avg. transactions:
Saturdays during football
Avg. ticket price:
Saturdays during football
+0%
vs avg Saturday
-1%
vs avg Saturday
+0%
vs avg Saturday

On Saturdays throughout the college football season, Bloomington retail shops earned 1% less than an average Saturday during the rest of the year.

In fact, college football was big enough for retail shops in Bloomington that 8 of the top 10 days of the year were during college football weekends.

Of course, there is some overlap between the college football season and the holiday shopping season, which is also huge for local retail shops around the country.

Summmer and Holiday Breaks

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Finally, we wanted to look at the two times of year when school is out and many students head home during the break.

Do the summer and holiday breaks result in a dip in sales for restaurants around Indiana University?

Here’s what we learned:

Avg. revenue: summer break Avg. transactions: summer break Avg. ticket price: summer break
-21%
vs avg day
-29%
vs avg day
+12%
vs avg day

From the end of spring semester until the start of fall semester, Bloomington restaurants earned 21% less than the annual average.

Avg. revenue: holiday break Avg. transactions: holiday break Avg. ticket price: holiday break
+1%
vs avg day
+3%
vs avg day
-2%
vs avg day

During the weeks of the holiday break, meanwhile, Bloomington restaurants earned 2% more than the annual average.

Finally, we wanted to look at the two times of year when school is out and many students head home during the break.

Do the summer and holiday breaks result in a dip in sales for retail shops around Indiana University?

Here’s what we learned:

Avg. revenue: summer break Avg. transactions: summer break Avg. ticket price: summer break
+1%
vs avg day
-2%
vs avg day
+3%
vs avg day

From the end of spring semester until the start of fall semester, Bloomington retail shops earned 1% more than the annual average.

Avg. revenue: holiday break Avg. transactions: holiday break Avg. ticket price: holiday break
-13%
vs avg day
-9%
vs avg day
-4%
vs avg day

During the weeks of the holiday break, meanwhile, Bloomington retail shops earned 13% less than the annual average.

Methodology

Womply analyzed daily revenue for over 41,000 retail shops, 36,000 restaurants, 4,000 lodging places, and 2,200 bars, in all 50 states, for all 365 days of the 2019 calendar year. Businesses were only included in the analysis if they qualified as small businesses, Womply had a full year of transaction history, and the business recorded multiple transactions per day, on average.

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