Progressive Grocer wanted to hear how your operations are being impacted by the coronavirus, so we asked, and you answered a four-question survey between March 18 and March 22. Retailers ran the gamut from single-store independents to the largest grocers in the United States.
An overwhelming 67% of retailers said their largest fulfillment issue is not being able to keep store shelves stocked due to intense customer demand. Twenty-four percent noted certain products being sold out or unavailable in the supply chain as the toughest issue to overcome.
Many grocers have adjusted their store hours, and others have expanded their pickup and delivery services.
Seventy-four percent are dealing with closing or limiting operations at their stores. Of these, 38% are scrambling to support increased demand for store-level delivery and 22% are working hard to schedule extra time for store resets and cleaning. Creating in-store or curbside pickup zones and scheduling specific shopping hours for senior citizens are challenges for other respondents.
A variety of workforce management challenges have also arisen due to the coronavirus. Thirty-eight percent said their biggest test is preventing the spread of the virus among the workforce, while 33% are working hard to find extra staff to support increased demand in certain areas of the business.
There's no doubt grocers are keeping busy. For 88% of responding retailers, sales were up: 45% report a goldmine and 43% note a significant uptick.
Progressive Grocer conducted the survey online of 104 retailers.