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June 29, 2021

Stock Up: Grocery Sales are Higher Than Expected

With restrictions lightening and restaurants reopening, it would seem to make sense that grocery sales may start slowing from their pandemic peak. But that’s not the case – Americans keep stocking up on food.

More than a third of Americans say they’re still buying more groceries in 2021, with only 8% saying they’re purchasing less, according to a survey from researcher Jungle Scout. That upward trend continued into April, during which grocery store sales in the U.S. totaled $65.2 billion for the month, up 1% from March 2021. That’s especially impressive considering restaurant revenue growth turned positive in April for the first time since pandemic restrictions began.

The situation has confounded analysts, who expected robust grocery-store sales to diminish as the year progressed and as vaccinated Americans returned to offices, restaurants and travel.

Kroger is the latest beneficiary of the trend. Thanks to better-than-expected revenue in the first quarter, the company adjusted its full-year sales and profit forecasts in June. Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, and Target Corp. have also enjoyed brisk food sales this year.

One reason for the sustained lift in grocery sales is that online ordering has made it easier for shoppers to buy more, with curbside pickup and home delivery removing the hassle of lugging items through the store and checkout. Around one-quarter of adults said they do all or most of their food shopping via e-commerce, up from 14% last year, according to Coresight Research.

Another catalyst for food sales is a greater sense of preparedness instilled by last year’s lockdowns, when many essential items were hard to find. Keeping pantries more fully stocked than normal reflects some underlying caution and perhaps some ingrained habits from prolonged stay-at-home behaviors.

With a bright outlook in the grocery industry and more customers feeling comfortable shopping in-store, there’s an opportunity for grocers to make minor adjustments to their operations that can have a significant effect on profits.

The continued growth in food sales is motivating many grocers to optimize their shelf management process, which they realize is a key factor in determining a grocery store’s success. Poor management of inventory and stock on display can lead to a loss of profit, increased spoilage, frequent out-of-stocks and dissatisfied customers. On the other hand, grocers that pay careful attention to their inventory operations will see increased customer satisfaction and a boosted bottom line.

The efficiency and speed of a retailer’s shelf management process directly impacts revenues and profits. That’s simply because stocked – or poorly stocked – shelves can significantly impact the shopping experience for customers. At some point, most of us have left a grocery store frustrated because of disorganized shelves or perceived some of the products we wanted were out of stock.

Pusher display systems keep products on the shelf organized and front-faced, reducing or eliminating false out-of-stocks. Retail Space Solutions has developed a full line of SpaceGrid® pusher display systems – built to simplify restocking and improve labor efficiency. These pusher display systems can be placed throughout the store, from the produce section to the freezer aisle, to ensure a store-open look all day long.

The unique design of these SpaceGrid systems incorporates controlled-pusher movements that automatically regulate the speed and force at which products slide forward. Requiring minimal conditioning, SpaceGrid pusher display systems also ease the burden of the restocking process with trays that quickly slide out for efficient backfilling – saving you time and money.

Optimize your inventory management process with Retail Space Solutions, the pusher systems for speedy stocking.

For more information on pusher display systems from Retail Space Solutions, visit www.retailspacesolutions.com or call 1-800-279-5291.