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The impact of colleges and universities on local business 2020:

University of Pittsburgh


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 Pittsburgh to see what kind of impact major events during the school year at the University of Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh

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 Pittsburgh from week-to-week.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5

4/19/19

Easter Weekend

4/12/19

3/16/19

Spring Break

4/6/19

March Madness

3/30/19

March Madness

Friday Friday Saturday Saturday Saturday

Above are the top five days of the year for Pittsburgh restaurants. This means that on these days, more total dollars were spent at restaurants in Pittsburgh 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 bars in Pittsburgh from week-to-week.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5

3/16/19

Spring Break

5/18/19

4/6/19

March Madness

5/4/19

10/26/19

Football

Saturday Saturday Saturday Saturday Saturday

Above are the top five days of the year for Pittsburgh bars. This means that on these days, more total dollars were spent at bars in Pittsburgh 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 lodging places in Pittsburgh from week-to-week.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5

5/19/19

7/21/19

7/7/19

11/10/19

8/4/19

Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday Sunday

Above are the top five days of the year for Pittsburgh lodging places. This means that on these days, more total dollars were spent at lodging places in Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh from week-to-week.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5

12/11/19

2/14/19

Valentine's Day

5/10/19

Mother's Day Weekend

2/13/19

Day before Valentine's

12/20/19

Football - Bowl

Weekend before Christmas

Wednesday Thursday Friday Wednesday Friday

Above are the top five days of the year for Pittsburgh retail shops. This means that on these days, more total dollars were spent at retail shops in Pittsburgh 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 the University of Pittsburgh 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
+7%
vs avg day
-1%
vs avg day
+28%
vs avg day during March
+29%
vs avg day during March
+0%
vs avg day during March

During the week of spring break, restaurants in and around Pittsburgh earned 6% more than an average day throughout the year, and 29% more than on an average day during the month of march.

 

Spring break was the number 15 week of the year for Pittsburgh 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 bars around the University of Pittsburgh 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
+35%
vs avg day
+39%
vs avg day
-2%
vs avg day
+39%
vs avg day during March
+43%
vs avg day during March
-2%
vs avg day during March

During the week of spring break, bars in and around Pittsburgh earned 36% more than an average day throughout the year, and 40% more than on an average day during the month of march.

 

As the weather warms up and students get to take the week off, how are local lodging places around the University of Pittsburgh 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
-25%
vs avg day
-30%
vs avg day
+6%
vs avg day
+21%
vs avg day during March
+35%
vs avg day during March
-10%
vs avg day during March

During the week of spring break, lodging places in and around Pittsburgh earned 26% less than an average day throughout the year, and 22% more than on an average day during the month of march.

 

As the weather warms up and students get to take the week off, how are local retail shops around the University of Pittsburgh 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
-4%
vs avg day
-3%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day
+13%
vs avg day during March
+11%
vs avg day during March
+1%
vs avg day during March

During the week of spring break, retail shops in and around Pittsburgh earned 4% less than an average day throughout the year, and 13% 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 the University of Pittsburgh?

To find out, we analyzed revenue at restaurants in Pittsburgh on game days for each round of the tournament and compared it to the average revenue those Pittsburgh 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 11% 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 Pittsburgh restaurants, that two 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 bars around the University of Pittsburgh?

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

Throughout the entire tournamment, on days when games were being played, bars earned 21% 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 Pittsburgh bars, 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 lodging places around the University of Pittsburgh?

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

Throughout the entire tournamment, on days when games were being played, lodging places earned 11% less than on similar days. Examine the chart above to see how revenue was impacted during each round of 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 the University of Pittsburgh?

To find out, we analyzed revenue at retail shops in Pittsburgh on game days for each round of the tournament and compared it to the average revenue those Pittsburgh 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 5% less than on similar days. Examine the chart above to see how revenue was impacted during each round of the tournament

Finals Week

Select an industry:

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
+2%
vs avg day
+1%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day
-1%
vs avg day during May
-1%
vs avg day during May
+0%
vs avg day during May

During the week of final exams, restaurants in and around Pittsburgh earned 2% more than an average day throughout the year, and 1% less than on an average day during the months of April and May.

 

Finals week was the number 12 week of the year for Pittsburgh 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
-1%
vs avg day
+3%
vs avg day
-5%
vs avg day
-3%
vs avg day during May
-1%
vs avg day during May
-2%
vs avg day during May

During the week of final exams, bars in and around Pittsburgh earned 2% less than an average day throughout the year, and 4% less than on an average day during the months of April and May.

 

Finals week was the number 13 week of the year for Pittsburgh bars. 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
+8%
vs avg day
-6%
vs avg day
+16%
vs avg day
+15%
vs avg day during May
+16%
vs avg day during May
+0%
vs avg day during May

During the week of final exams, lodging places in and around Pittsburgh earned 9% more than an average day throughout the year, and 16% more than on an average day during the months of April and May.

 

Finals week was the number 24 week of the year for Pittsburgh lodging places. 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
-5%
vs avg day
-1%
vs avg day
-4%
vs avg day
-13%
vs avg day during May
-9%
vs avg day during May
-3%
vs avg day during May

During the week of final exams, retail shops in and around Pittsburgh earned 6% less than an average day throughout the year, and 13% less than on an average day during the months of April and May.

 

Finals week was the number 29 week of the year for Pittsburgh 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 the University of Pittsburgh, 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
-3%
vs avg day
-2%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day during August
+0%
vs avg day during August
+0%
vs avg day during August

 

The week that classes began at the University of Pittsburgh saw Pittsburgh restaurants earn 3% less than an average day throughout the year, and 1% less 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 the University of Pittsburgh. (Classes resumed on Monday, August 26)

As summer ends and students come flocking back to the University of Pittsburgh, do local bars 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
-9%
vs avg day
-1%
vs avg day
-28%
vs avg day during August
-19%
vs avg day during August
-11%
vs avg day during August

 

The week that classes began at the University of Pittsburgh saw Pittsburgh bars earn 11% less than an average day throughout the year, and 28% less than on an average day during the month of August.

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

As summer ends and students come flocking back to the University of Pittsburgh, do local lodging places 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
+13%
vs avg day
+36%
vs avg day
-16%
vs avg day
+71%
vs avg day during August
+111%
vs avg day during August
-18%
vs avg day during August

 

The week that classes began at the University of Pittsburgh saw Pittsburgh lodging places earn 14% more than an average day throughout the year, and 72% more than on an average day during the month of August.

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

As summer ends and students come flocking back to the University of Pittsburgh, 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
+0%
vs avg day
-1%
vs avg day
+1%
vs avg day
+4%
vs avg day during August
+9%
vs avg day during August
-4%
vs avg day during August

 

The week that classes began at the University of Pittsburgh saw Pittsburgh retail shops earn 0% less than an average day throughout the year, and 5% 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 the University of Pittsburgh. (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 Pittsburgh 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
-10%
vs avg Saturday
-10%
vs avg Saturday
+0%
vs avg Saturday

On Saturdays throughout the college football season, Pittsburgh restaurants earned 10% less 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 Pittsburgh 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
-27%
vs avg Saturday
-25%
vs avg Saturday
-2%
vs avg Saturday

On Saturdays throughout the college football season, Pittsburgh bars earned 27% less than an average Saturday during the rest of the year.

In fact, college football was big enough for bars in Pittsburgh that 3 of the top 10 days of the year were during college football weekends.

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 Pittsburgh 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
+5%
vs avg Saturday
+24%
vs avg Saturday
-14%
vs avg Saturday

On Saturdays throughout the college football season, Pittsburgh lodging places earned 6% more than an average Saturday during the rest of the year.

In fact, college football was big enough for lodging places in Pittsburgh that 1 of the top 10 days of the year were during college football weekends.

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 Pittsburgh 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
-2%
vs avg Saturday
-4%
vs avg Saturday
+1%
vs avg Saturday

On Saturdays throughout the college football season, Pittsburgh retail shops earned 3% less than an average Saturday during the rest of the year.

In fact, college football was big enough for retail shops in Pittsburgh that 4 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

Select an industry:

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 the University of Pittsburgh?

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
+0%
vs avg day

From the end of spring semester until the start of fall semester, Pittsburgh restaurants earned 1% more than the annual average.

Avg. revenue: holiday break Avg. transactions: holiday break Avg. ticket price: holiday break
+3%
vs avg day
+5%
vs avg day
-1%
vs avg day

During the weeks of the holiday break, meanwhile, Pittsburgh restaurants earned 4% 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 bars around the University of Pittsburgh?

Here’s what we learned:

Avg. revenue: summer break Avg. transactions: summer break Avg. ticket price: summer break
-4%
vs avg day
-4%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day

From the end of spring semester until the start of fall semester, Pittsburgh bars earned 5% less than the annual average.

Avg. revenue: holiday break Avg. transactions: holiday break Avg. ticket price: holiday break
+11%
vs avg day
+6%
vs avg day
+5%
vs avg day

During the weeks of the holiday break, meanwhile, Pittsburgh bars earned 12% 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 lodging places around the University of Pittsburgh?

Here’s what we learned:

Avg. revenue: summer break Avg. transactions: summer break Avg. ticket price: summer break
+21%
vs avg day
+19%
vs avg day
+1%
vs avg day

From the end of spring semester until the start of fall semester, Pittsburgh lodging places earned 21% more than the annual average.

Avg. revenue: holiday break Avg. transactions: holiday break Avg. ticket price: holiday break
-11%
vs avg day
-15%
vs avg day
+5%
vs avg day

During the weeks of the holiday break, meanwhile, Pittsburgh lodging places earned 12% less 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 the University of Pittsburgh?

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
+0%
vs avg day

From the end of spring semester until the start of fall semester, Pittsburgh retail shops earned 2% less than the annual average.

Avg. revenue: holiday break Avg. transactions: holiday break Avg. ticket price: holiday break
-3%
vs avg day
-7%
vs avg day
+4%
vs avg day

During the weeks of the holiday break, meanwhile, Pittsburgh retail shops earned 3% 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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