According to the 5 Retail Trends report prepared by the Spanish Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (Aecoc), distribution companies have implemented a strategic shift in their business to adapt to new post-COVID consumer trends. The sector has opted to strengthen the healthy and sustainable products segment, the online channel and delivery segments, as well as the take-away food and convenience supermarkets segments, among others.
The sustainability and fresh-product segments are becoming more and more relevant; in addition, the coronavirus crisis has highlighted the importance of proximity shopping. As a result, companies such as Lidl have decided to strengthen their offer in this segment in different countries, such as Bulgaria, where the supermarket chain increased the presence of locally sourced products from small and local suppliers, which in three weeks generated sales of 1.1 million euro.
Food chains have also become aware of the importance of online sales and delivery. According to the Aecoc report, digitization is increasingly important for distribution chains. For example, the Schwarz Group, which owns Lidl, has bought one of the largest e-commerce stores in Germany, and Walmart closed a deal with the Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify. The distribution sector has also made alliances with delivery companies. In Spain, for example, Glovo has signed agreements with Carrefour the Dia group, and in Dublin, Aldi has signed an agreement with Deliveroo. Furthermore, WhatsApp has launched a digital payment platform in Brazil following in the footsteps of WeChat in China.
The service and the commercial proposal have also diversified, the report states. Walmart is testing a self-checkout store, following the trend and style of Amazon Go, and Pick n Pay, the South African company, has announced a reduction in the prices of essential items.
In addition, Spar has diversified its commitment to the Netherlands with the launch of Spar City Small, which is aimed at a young urban audience with an offer that is adapted to each moment of the day and a great boost to ready-to-eat food. The supermarket chain also launched Spar mini mobile, an 18 m² individual store format that offers a new solution to ensure social distance due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Dutch chain Albert Heijn has announced that it will roll out 100 salad bars in the store to enhance its convenience offering.