Stay-At-Home Sunday: How The Pandemic Has Changed Grocery Shopping


Forbes | October 19, 2020


A new report from Placer.ai, which studies retail foot traffic, has found what it calls “fundamental and unprecedented changes” in grocery shopping habits.


Last year, Sunday was the busiest grocery shopping day of the week, with 17.4% of shoppers picking up food and other items to start the week. Now, only 15.7% of shoppers are going out on Sundays to shop for food. By contrast, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday have all seen year-over-year increases in grocery shopping, with Saturday now the most popular shopping day.


“It appears many consumers are showing a preference for leaving Sundays for other activities, and finding time for supermarket visits on other days — a trend that could have wider impacts over time,” the report says.


As grocery shopping hours have changed during the pandemic, a strong response from consumers followed. Grocery hours allowed the morning for seniors and health-challenged shoppers. Each of the morning hours between 7 am and noon saw increases of 1% to 2% compared with last year. Moreover, the most popular shopping hour moved down by 60 minutes, from 5 pm to 4 pm.


Shoppers are also reducing their number of visits, but spending more time in the store on each visit. “Essentially, consumers were looking to make less visits, and accomplish more with each visit, a trend known as ‘mission-driving shopping.” That logically led to higher grocery bills. About 37% said they are spending more now than a year ago.


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