Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Director of Administrative for SafeSourcing Inc.
Albertsons Co. reported stronger results than some competitors as consumers buy more groceries during the pandemic. Most consumers in 2020 cooked at home. Many grocery stores are trying to hold to consumers in hopes that they will continue this pandemic habit.
Consumers tend not to frequent the grocery stores more often, but they buy more when they do shop. Many consumers also buy more premium items during their store visits. Albertsons sales rose 12.3% for the quarter ending December 5th. This was a slight decline from the prior quarter when Albertsons posted 13.8% increase in sales. This is still a higher increase than Kroger Co. and Walmart. Shares in Albertsons (the second largest grocer) rose 2% on January 12th as pandemic costs continue to rise in the U.S. Albertsons reported $387 million in profit.
Albertsons is preparing meal kits for consumer convenience as well as more store-brand products. Fresh seafood, meat products, and florals have been selling well. Consumers continue to make breakfast and lunch at home as many people continue to work from home. Pickup service is the fastest growing segment in the grocery business. Many people are ordering online and picking up their orders rather than visiting the store in person.
Albertsons is also gearing up to become a major provider of the COVID-19 vaccine. Food retailers are hiring thousands of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to administer vaccines, in addition to securing equipment, such as freezers, ahead of the mass vaccination.
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Jaewon Kant, WSJ, 1/13/2020