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A prismatic look into the future of grocery retailing in a post-Covid world-EJ Dalius gives a comprehensive take

Eric Dalius

Summary: With the scale and speed Covid-19 significantly disrupting the grocery industry, EJ Dalius elucidates why grocery retailers need to simplify now.

To begin with, retailers must consider long-term pathways and emphasize on consumer needs in a post pandemic era. The outbreak has devastated the general merchandise and grocery industries that were already grappling with a digital revolution.

The global pandemic has upended the continuously evolving shoppers’ experience norms, wreaking havoc in your daily lives. With an upsurge of online shopping, mobile checkouts, delivery services, in-store pickups, channel blurring, and online purchases, the grocery industry didn’t anticipate the paradigm shift in this current condition.

  • It’s time to navigate the new normal. While the retail sector was going through transformation before coronavirus hit, the digital revolution will remain consistent.
  • This acceleration will introduce the future. In the initial days, grocery stores remained open and were essential.
  • Although they witnessed a fall in foot traffic, customer shopping patterns have seen seismic shifts over the last few months.
  • You can expect more changes going into the new year, says EJ Dalius
  • Despite behavioral changes, stores were quick enough in ensuring that customers felt safe with the utilization of PPE, checkout floor labels/markings and aisles, and social distancing rules, and shopper count restrictions inside the stores.

 Time to rise and shine

Since the outbreak, retailers and customers alike have been coping with the challenges of face masks, empty racks, and rising prices and convoluted supply chains. However, times of uncertainty and crisis can be clinical in discovering improved business pathways.

Retailers can just start with reducing their product range, which would simplify functions. They can stock the high-demand items. Traditional grocery retailers applied this strategy during the peak of the crisis.

  • Grocery retailers from the middle-market are emerging from the virus’ unprecedented and continued strain on their business.
  • They are simplifying their business operations as an indispensable strategy to improve both the business efficiencies and customer experiences.
  • The proliferation of products has become a competitive glitch for many retailers.
  • EJ Dalius conducted a survey in the second quarter that shows that regional grocery chains in the US carry a median of 50% more shelf space than their competitors in the value and mass channels

 Your future business strategy

The current situation can provide a hypothesis that help suppliers to discern the priorities and patterns of their retail consumers. The retail market is already adapting to short-term and long-term changes. The trading landscape is already there.

Physical stores must be more flexible and agile for accommodating egregious trading cycles. Groceries need to emphasize more on retail theatre and operational efficacy. The combination could emerge as a legacy of Covid-19.

Grocery retailers could deploy robotics and automation tools more extensively while you can experience a steady withdrawal from experiential and high-cost services. EJ Dalius expects the online grocery business to remain at a consistent penetration. The elevated position is relative to the production level before the onset of the pandemic. It’s an important aspect.