Despite the welcome progress on rolling out the vaccine here in the UK, we expect some consumer behaviours to be changed forever – work from home and online grocery. In a recent YouGov survey 91% of people currently working from home said that post pandemic they would work from home more than they did before. A Barclays survey showed company bosses expected working from home to account for 40% of hours in the new normal. This inevitably means eat at home and a permanent uptick in grocery sales.
The Times today cites Credit Suisse upgrading their view of online profitability. CS also concluded that Tesco’s presence, flexibility, and moves towards automation make it a winner. At Supermarket Income REIT we certainly believe the pandemic is bringing some permanent shifts in behaviour. Increased volumes online mean the operators are making permanent structural changes to their sites, embracing new technology and improving picking and delivery efficiency. The physical stores of the major grocery operators are the omnichannel urban fulfilment centres that give them an advantage over the centralised warehouse model.
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