bookmark_borderPandemic-era shopping: fully stocked, differently stocked

The New York Times headline is borderline triumphant: Flour and Toilet Paper Are Back at N.Y. Supermarkets! But they buried the lede, which is a nifty deep-dive into how store selection has evolved the past few months.

The Times, which also references a good round-up of supply changes the Wall Street Journal published last month, goes long on manufacturers’ refocusing on high-demand products. With supply chains feeling strain, and grocery stores still experiencing above-average sales volume, brands have put their energy into keeping top items in stock.

“Hershey’s has had to adjust to consumers wanting more chocolate bars and less gum,” the Times notes. “Shops that might have stocked six types of canned tuna fish are down to three or two.” Everything from toilet paper (still) to meat is subject to scarcity and a narrowed selection. Left unanswered is the question of how long store shelves will stay in this state.

bookmark_borderEcommerce trends during the shutdowns

While this site is focusing on retail, it would be impossible to ignore the powerful surge of ecommerce that is occurring this spring, from Instacart shoppers to food delivery to Amazon’s getting so busy it had to slow down Prime shipping times.

Digital Commerce 360 published an interesting set of ecommerce charts and data today showing the pandemic’s impact. Online grocery in particular has skyrocketed, but all of ecommerce has seen a huge boost, giving momentum to a retail industry that has seen 11 noteworthy bankruptcies this year, six since the crisis began.