The impact of colleges and universities on local business 2020:

University of Tennessee


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

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 Knoxville from week-to-week.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5

8/2/19

4/26/19

6/14/19

Father's Day Weekend

5/10/19

Finals Week

Mother's Day Weekend

5/3/19

Friday Friday Friday Friday Friday

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

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5

3/15/19

Spring Break

5/10/19

Finals Week

Mother's Day Weekend

10/4/19

Football

7/19/19

3/17/19

Spring Break

St. Patrick's Day

Friday Friday Friday Friday Sunday

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

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5

11/29/19

Football

Black Friday

5/10/19

Finals Week

Mother's Day Weekend

8/30/19

Football

Labor Day Weekend

9/26/19

Football

12/23/19

Friday Friday Friday Thursday Monday

Above are the top five days of the year for Knoxville retail shops. This means that on these days, more total dollars were spent at retail shops in Knoxville 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 Tennessee 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
+6%
vs avg day
+7%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day
+17%
vs avg day during March
+9%
vs avg day during March
+7%
vs avg day during March

During the week of spring break, restaurants in and around Knoxville earned 6% more than an average day throughout the year, and 18% more than on an average day during the month of march.

 

Spring break was the number 22 week of the year for Knoxville 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 lodging places around the University of Tennessee 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
+41%
vs avg day
+22%
vs avg day
+15%
vs avg day
+120%
vs avg day during March
+89%
vs avg day during March
+16%
vs avg day during March

During the week of spring break, lodging places in and around Knoxville earned 42% more than an average day throughout the year, and 121% 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 Tennessee 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
+0%
vs avg day
-1%
vs avg day
+1%
vs avg day
+16%
vs avg day during March
+5%
vs avg day during March
+10%
vs avg day during March

During the week of spring break, retail shops in and around Knoxville earned 1% more than an average day throughout the year, and 16% 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 Tennessee?

To find out, we analyzed revenue at restaurants in Knoxville on game days for each round of the tournament and compared it to the average revenue those Knoxville 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 5% more 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 lodging places around the University of Tennessee?

To find out, we analyzed revenue at lodging places in Knoxville on game days for each round of the tournament and compared it to the average revenue those Knoxville 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 15% more 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 Tennessee?

To find out, we analyzed revenue at retail shops in Knoxville on game days for each round of the tournament and compared it to the average revenue those Knoxville 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% more 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.

Note: finals week and commencement fell during Mother’s Day weekend at the University of Tennessee in 2019, which likely made a significant impact on local businesses in Knoxville as well. Particularly restaurants (Mother's Day weekend was responsible for the top day of the year for restaurants across the country).

Avg. revenue: finals Avg. transactions: finals Avg. ticket price: finals
+5%
vs avg day
+6%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day
+2%
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 Knoxville earned 6% more than an average day throughout the year, and 2% more than on an average day during the months of April and May.

 

Finals week was the number 4 week of the year for Knoxville 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.

Note: finals week and commencement fell during Mother’s Day weekend at the University of Tennessee in 2019, which likely made a significant impact on local businesses in Knoxville as well.

Avg. revenue: finals Avg. transactions: finals Avg. ticket price: finals
+31%
vs avg day
+17%
vs avg day
+11%
vs avg day
+19%
vs avg day during May
+10%
vs avg day during May
+8%
vs avg day during May

During the week of final exams, lodging places in and around Knoxville earned 31% more than an average day throughout the year, and 20% more than on an average day during the months of April and May.

 

Finals week was the number 4 week of the year for Knoxville 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.

Note: finals week and commencement fell during Mother’s Day weekend at the University of Tennessee in 2019, which likely made a significant impact on local businesses in Knoxville as well.

Avg. revenue: finals Avg. transactions: finals Avg. ticket price: finals
+24%
vs avg day
+11%
vs avg day
+11%
vs avg day
+20%
vs avg day during May
+13%
vs avg day during May
+6%
vs avg day during May

During the week of final exams, retail shops in and around Knoxville earned 24% more than an average day throughout the year, and 20% more than on an average day during the months of April and May.

 

Finals week was the number 1 week of the year for Knoxville 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 Tennessee, 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
-1%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day
-4%
vs avg day during August
-7%
vs avg day during August
+3%
vs avg day during August

 

The week that classes began at the University of Tennessee saw Knoxville restaurants earn 1% less than an average day throughout the year, and 5% 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 Tennessee. (Classes resumed on Wednesday, August 21)

As summer ends and students come flocking back to the University of Tennessee, 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
-11%
vs avg day
-4%
vs avg day
-6%
vs avg day
+18%
vs avg day during August
+20%
vs avg day during August
-1%
vs avg day during August

 

The week that classes began at the University of Tennessee saw Knoxville lodging places earn 11% less than an average day throughout the year, and 18% 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 Tennessee. (Classes resumed on Wednesday, August 21)

As summer ends and students come flocking back to the University of Tennessee, 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
-9%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day
-9%
vs avg day
-9%
vs avg day during August
+0%
vs avg day during August
-10%
vs avg day during August

 

The week that classes began at the University of Tennessee saw Knoxville retail shops earn 10% less than an average day throughout the year, and 10% less 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 Tennessee. (Classes resumed on Wednesday, August 21)

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 Knoxville 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
-14%
vs avg Saturday
-15%
vs avg Saturday
+1%
vs avg Saturday

On Saturdays throughout the college football season, Knoxville restaurants earned 14% 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 Knoxville 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
+0%
vs avg Saturday
+0%
vs avg Saturday

On Saturdays throughout the college football season, Knoxville lodging places earned 0% less than an average Saturday during the rest of the year.

In fact, college football was big enough for lodging places in Knoxville that 5 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 Knoxville 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
-3%
vs avg Saturday
+3%
vs avg Saturday

On Saturdays throughout the college football season, Knoxville retail shops earned 0% less than an average Saturday during the rest of the year.

In fact, college football was big enough for retail shops in Knoxville that 6 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 Tennessee?

Here’s what we learned:

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

From the end of spring semester until the start of fall semester, Knoxville restaurants earned 3% more than the annual average.

Avg. revenue: holiday break Avg. transactions: holiday break Avg. ticket price: holiday break
+8%
vs avg day
+8%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day

During the weeks of the holiday break, meanwhile, Knoxville restaurants earned 9% 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 Tennessee?

Here’s what we learned:

Avg. revenue: summer break Avg. transactions: summer break Avg. ticket price: summer break
+12%
vs avg day
+12%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day

From the end of spring semester until the start of fall semester, Knoxville lodging places earned 12% more than the annual average.

Avg. revenue: holiday break Avg. transactions: holiday break Avg. ticket price: holiday break
+8%
vs avg day
+8%
vs avg day
+0%
vs avg day

During the weeks of the holiday break, meanwhile, Knoxville lodging places earned 9% 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 the University of Tennessee?

Here’s what we learned:

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

From the end of spring semester until the start of fall semester, Knoxville retail shops earned 3% less than the annual average.

Avg. revenue: holiday break Avg. transactions: holiday break Avg. ticket price: holiday break
+2%
vs avg day
-4%
vs avg day
+7%
vs avg day

During the weeks of the holiday break, meanwhile, Knoxville retail shops earned 2% more 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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