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Grocery Quarterly Company Briefing: Q3 2020

September 2020

This report provides an overview of how leading grocery retail companies responded to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis between April and July 2020. The companies included in this report are Auchan, Casino Guichard-Perrachon, Carrefour, Cencosud, FEMSA, Kroger, Tesco, Walmart and Woolworths. Key strategies employed in this quarter included adapting to increasingly cautious shoppers and refining omnichannel initiatives.

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Takeaways from leading grocery company activity

Continue to polish omnichannel efforts

Grocers around the world raced in the first half of 2020 to bring to market and promote online grocery offerings. With consumer interest in online grocery shopping remaining elevated, retailers should focus on refining these services and making them more sophisticated in ways that resonate with a grocer’s core customer.

Carrefour’s investment in a new grocery marketplace provides an example of how even retailers with fairly developed e-commerce offerings can continue to invest in these offerings as demand remains strong.

Empower and support store associates

As the pandemic drags on, it is easy for both corporations and consumers to become complacent to the challenges frontline store associates will continue to face until the COVID-19 pandemic is a thing of the past.

Retailers need to continue to ensure that store associates have the personal protective equipment necessary for their public-facing jobs. In some cases, such as in the US, retailers may need to take extra steps to ensure that shoppers adhere to local safety regulations while in-store. These steps are essential for keeping store associates engaged and maintaining a positive public perception of the retailer as a whole.

Stay atop emerging consumer trends

While consumer preferences and demand are likely to evolve more slowly in the months ahead than they did in the past six months, new needs and purchase occasions will continue to appear as the pandemic continues.

Retailers and manufacturers will need to pay close attention to emerging consumer trends. As seasons change and markets enter new phases of pandemic response, new products and services are likely to resonate with shoppers. For example, in many markets, September marks the back-to-school shopping season. Retailers should consider that different products will be demanded by families for 2020 compared to 2019.

 

Introduction

Scope
Company coverage

Q3 Covid-19 Update

Americas become the centre of COVID-19 cases in Q2
Q2 grocery trends

Q3 Companies Update

Auchan Group SA: challenging times for big size retailing formats
Carrefour: acquisition of Wellcome and grocery online ordering innovation
Casino: convenience stores and e-commerce driving growth
Cencosud: reorganising the business
FEMSA Comercio: rethinking the future
Kroger: COVID-19 powers sales growth
Schwarz Beteiligungs GmbH: steps towards digitalisation
Tesco: offloading Polish division and expanding digital in the UK
Walmart: moving towards a more digital future
Woolworths: pivoting to keep up with shifting consumer demands

Looking Ahead

Takeaways from leading grocery company activity
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