Time to Adapt

COVID-19: Time to Adapt

As a result of the recent pandemic, Canada has witnessed a ban on mass gatherings, the cancellation of sporting events and the closure of schools, restaurants, bars and other facilities. These measures have significantly impacted the economy and in-turn unsettled the lives of many Canadians.

After an initial rush to stores to prepare for the pandemic, consumers nationwide have now settled into a “home-confined buying” stage. Recent events combined with shifting consumer behaviours have prompted customers to reconsider online grocery shopping. Additionally, household grocery spending has abruptly risen. Therefore, supermarkets might find that they have to adapt to meet the changing needs of consumers.

Staying Stocked
Housebound Canadians are doing a lot more home cooking which means grocery shelves have to remain stocked. Consumers are purchasing high quantities of items like frozen meals, lunchmeat, cheese, chocolate and alcohol. For supermarkets replenishing the stocks of vital products has become the number one priority.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen Canadians across the country stocking up on supplies in anticipation of weeks of social isolation. However, to combat shortages, stores might want to consider implementing a purchasing limit on certain items. Applying purchasing limits particularly on some key items not only allows more customers to get what they need but can also help maintain inventory levels. Rationing is a store-by-store decision but can temporarily help get more product on the shelves in the wake of all the panic buying.

Online Shopping
With everyone’s focus on health and safety, consumers are looking for alternate shopping methods. Methods such as delivery, contact-free and curbside pickup are becoming increasingly favourable and at a rapid rate. As Canadians across the country continue to practise social distancing and self-isolation, there is a greater reliance on grocery delivery services. To grapple with these recent demands,  grocers, restaurants and other caterers have been building mini-stores inside their stores. This second mini store is closed to customers and serves only delivery and pickup purposes.

Lasting Effect
This sudden surge in online grocery shopping presents an opportunity for grocery stores to demonstrate their value. A lot of consumers are turning to online grocery shopping for the first time and therefore, it is imperative to give a good first impression to ensure repeat business. The outbreak of coronavirus has already pushed Canadians to buy their groceries online and is a development that could have a lasting effect on the supermarket industry.




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