What Grocery Stores Must Do To Keep Up With Online Shopping


Lana Bandoim, Contributor, Forbes 

Oct 31, 2019


The aisles may look peaceful as you pick out vegetables or decide which cereal to buy, but grocery wars are happening behind the scenes. A new report from Profitero found that competition between online retailers and traditional brick-and-mortar chains is intensifying. Chris Owens, vice president of sales at Americold, explained his thoughts on the changes grocery stores have to make in an interview.


Shifting Consumer Demands


Profitero's report showed that Kroger is Amazon's biggest grocery rival right now, but a study from the company last year found that Walmart was narrowing the gap with Amazon. Although prices will continue to change, it is clear that these grocery wars are far from over because consumers continue to seek out online options.


"Retailers are trying to adapt to two phenomena: the digital shopper and the shift to fresh and local, which is putting a strain on the cold chain assets that are in the current retail infrastructure. People eat differently today than they did five years ago. It is all about healthy, fresh food. But the current infrastructure is old and obsolete, especially when it comes to temperature control. That has created an unsustainable cost structure needed to serve these shoppers," Owens said.


Going forward, Owens expects a rapid expansion in efforts to update supply chain infrastructure, so retailers can aggressively incorporate digital fulfillment into their offerings to consumers. Competition will only increase as retailers try to offer both online and in-store options.


Improving Supply Chain Networks ...