LOS ALTOS, CALIF. - Recent findings from Placer.ai identified that on average the 10 grocery banners the analytics company has been following since the start of the pandemic saw monthly visits down by 7.1% in June 2020 compared to June 2019 — a significant improvement from May when visits were down 11.6% and April when visits were down 22.2%.
“Simply put, things are looking good in grocery,” Chernofsky said. “The brands that performed best during the pandemic are continuing to succeed, those who had strong relative numbers are moving closer to normal, and even the companies that were hardest hit are showing signs of life.”
Albertsons and Lidl were able to gain instore traffic over 2019 in June with year-over-year growth of 5.4% and 7.5% respectively — although Lidl saw a decrease from its May gain of 13.9%.
As for the other banners, Kroger, Publix, Safeway, H-E-B and Aldi all moved within a 5% decrease from 2019 numbers, a strong recovery from previous months. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have been the hardest hit grocers amid COVID-19, but those two banners also saw notable improvement. In the month of June, Trader Joe’s was 12.3% behind 2019 numbers, compared to 25.2% in May. Meanwhile, Whole Foods came in 34.1% under June 2019 numbers, compared to 41.7% in May.
“Perhaps even more important than the change overall was the pace, which saw improvements throughout the month,” said Ethan Chernofsky, vice president of marketing at Placer.ai. “Apart from the week of June 29th – which was heavily hit by steep visit declines for brands closed on the July 4th holiday – most brands were seeing either mixed or positively trending results.”
The day before the July 4th holiday, surges were seen throughout the sector. On July 3, Publix saw a year-over-year growth of 52.3%, with visits on July 4 up 19.6% compared to 2019. Wegmans saw a 39.9% jump on July 3 and Kroger experienced a boost of 49.6%.