As restrictions ease and U.S. consumers head out of their homes, health concerns, aversion to crowds and the full impact of the recession will change behaviour.
Grocery stores may no longer offer free edible samples and consumers may shift away from deli/prepared foods. This is key because free sampling has historically been a traffic driver, and deli/prepared foods are higher margin. When dining out, consumers may prefer off-premise dining. Quick service restaurants already had more than 80% of sales from off-premise dining.3
However, casual dining options will need to adapt to delivery and takeout demand by altering kitchen operations, rethinking location strategy and leveraging third-party logistic providers. And with less beverage consumption at bars and restaurants, beverage manufacturers may need to rethink new product activity and marketing campaigns to drive at-home consumption.
When it comes to specialty retail shopping, brands and retailers will have to adapt as well. For example, beauty companies may turn to VR to translate the experience of in-store consumer trial. Clothing companies may develop alternatives to determine fit, such as VR, and possibly offer digitised models and predictive sizing algorithms. Retailers may also increasingly adopt self-checkout, store pickup and grab-and-go options.
Overall, the increase in online shopping and avoidance of crowds could prompt specialty and apparel retailers to close upwards of 30% to 40% of their stores over the next five years. In this environment, retailers with strong brands with direct and digital capabilities are better positioned.