Supermarkets are in for the fight of their lives

As nontraditional retailers and upstarts grab a larger share of sales, grocers need to master the entire digital domain, writes Gary Hawkins of the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology.


By Gary Hawkins, Opinion, GroceryDive

May 3, 2021


Hawkins is founder and CEO of the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology.


Traditional supermarket retailers should be commended for their performance during the pandemic. They’ve kept the supply chain moving while grappling with out of stocks, fed the people in their communities as restaurants closed and, perhaps most importantly, kept their workers and shoppers safe.


But, as the saying goes, there is no rest for the weary.


According to an FMI study, traditional supermarkets’ share of the grocery trade has dropped from 67% in 2005 to just 44% in 2020. Alternative grocers like Amazon, Target, Costco, Walmart, Dollar General and others now comprise a majority of U.S. grocery sales. Instacart potentially poses a threat to grocers if it decides to sell directly to shoppers.


And Instacart is only one of many new challengers. Gopuff services more than 650 cities and has more than 250 micro-fulfillment centers used to provide food and drinks, home and cleaning products, baby, pet and more from a growing number of categories. Its value proposition is instant delivery...


It’s all about the two Ds: Digital and Data ...


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