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.
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.
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.
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.
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