Insight

New world same retailers?

2020-03-05

Pressing needs, contingency and the new normal

The growth of consumption in food retailers during these times has been unprecedented. It is not difficult to imagine that we will be continuously moving towards a more restrained emergency situation and that we will be back at some degree of business open as “unusual” situation progressively.

On one hand we have seen that store chains with a heavy weight of generic-brand products are leading the growth due to their ability to keep the service levels and their positioning in competitive price.

On the other hand we are seeing other brands “producers” that are growing significantly due to the new normal and new consumer habits. Yes, we are all eating more popcorn, baking more cakes and buying some other stuff that we never before consumed at home.

Promotions & campaign have been at their lowest over the last weeks.

Once we move towards a more stabilised situation, “price” will be a key factor. Retailers with loyalty programs will have a competitive advantage to retain and attract spending from more tight households budgets .

Retail formats like the super and hypermarket (supercentre or superstore) will need to accelerate their shift towards online shopping that will become key for their future strategy in an environment where the global supply chain is more fragile. Which means that generally speaking stockpiling is almost to their lowest with the inherent consequences of an rapid demand growth.

Retailer warehouse stock level - 5 year change

Along the way, in-store assortments have been reduced to focus on high and medium-turnover products, and innovation has come to a complete halt. Producers will be fighting to protect their brands and to maximise their market share in an environment where the average order value will be significantly higher and the purchase frequency lower.

Adaptation or what’s being called “new normal” for food retailers

We don’t know yet what we can find in the near future but we have some clues. We will be demanding a more secure and reliable service to collect and pick up our groceries. We will be demanding a more personalized shopping experience. We will adopt “social distancing” for a period of time. We will be look more to our pockets. And overall we will be trying to deal with uncertainty.

table statistics Source: UK Food statistics pocketbook 2017

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