3 Grocery and Retail Changes Caused by COVID-19

By Jackie Ceithamer Jul 22, 2020

As the coronavirus began to spread across the country in spring, a new collection of front-line heroes began to emerge. We weren’t celebrating our servicemen and women or even those who run into buildings to save lives. Instead, we turned our admiration to our medical professionals, of course, but we’ve also come to hold other groups in high regard, as well. As we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re enormously grateful for our grocery store workers.


Grocery and retail foodservice operations have become important cornerstones of our survival during these times. While restaurants have struggled in many ways, groceries have emerged successful, though there have definitely been some changes and challenges.


While we recognize that sanitation, safety, and operational protocols have changed as a result of COVID-19, we’d like to take a deeper look at some of the changes in the grocery and retail space.


THE IMPACTS OF TIME


Time is one of the three things that has changed the most in the age of COVID, and there are two important aspects when it comes to time and grocery. First of all, shoppers are entering stores with less frequency. In order to avoid potential exposure to the virus, shoppers simply aren’t shopping as much. Second, the amount of time spent in stores will often be longer but with the potential for being more hurried for the very reason of avoiding exposure.


For operators, this means displays and accessibility are paramount in not only delivering the items customers need the most but also in delivering to the operation’s bottom line. In some cases, traffic flow in stores is being limited or directed to avoid bottlenecks, and retail displays can be important stopping points along the shopping journey to encourage impulse buys and remind customers of the items they might want to consider.


THE INCREASE IN QUANTITIES


Even a quick Google search will yield search results detailing the latest statistics. Those statistics show today’s consumer is more likely to buy more than less during visits to the grocery store. Because of the coronavirus and the general desire to limit exposure, grocery and retail visits are less frequent but more substantial in their nature.


Again, this means displays can be critical to put products in front of consumers. When the thought is to buy as much as you can so you don’t have to come back for several weeks, there’s enormous potential to increase impulse buying.


THE RISE OF DELIVERY


Lastly, we’ve seen a growing number of consumers who don’t go to the grocery store at all, even though their total spends might be increasing. With delivery options increasing and the emergence of curbside pickup, many customers are opting out of in-store visits all together.

 

Make the case for the case


Though not all changes relate to in-store displays, there’s no doubt that foodservice displays and food merchandisers are an easy way to help grocery and retails stores make an impact with customers. From pre-sliced deli meats instead of the in-person counter to the merchandising of critical foods and products along the expanse of a socially distanced checkout line, it’s easy to make the case for merchandising, and Federal is here to help.


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