It has been well-publicised that the pandemic has created substantial growth in grocery spending both in-store and online. One of the key questions is where will this growth settle once ‘normality’ returns?
Heightened demand for online grocery provision has led to a tiered offering. At the top, we have the traditional weekly online shop, where customers book a delivery slot for a specific time later in the week. The majority of these are fulfilled by the in-store picking model by one of the Big Four operators.
While we have seen a significant increase in uptake for the traditional model, some consumers are now seeking products ‘on demand’ and are not prepared to wait for a delivery slot. As a consequence we are observing growth in the second tier of online grocery, with new entrants such as Weezy and Dija (who recently secured seed funding to grow their model) tapping into this market. These, mostly app-based, providers offer customers the ability to order groceries (subject to a delivery charge) with delivery in 15 minutes.
Dija is the brainchild of ex-Deliveroo executives and taps into the same ‘want-it-now’ psyche of the hot food delivery service. So whilst Dija has generated a lot of publicity this week with the announcement that it is looking for around 2,000 sites across Europe, veterans of the grocery store sector could be forgiven for thinking that when it comes to Dija, they’ve seen it all before.
The likes of Sainsburys Chop Chop, Waitrose Rapid and Co-op have been running similar services for some time with a UK focus which is typically wider than the London/South East preference of the new entrants. As well as using their larger format stores to fulfil online grocery orders, the traditional supermarkets are now developing their convenience store networks to help meet this ‘on demand’ trend. However, both strategies again highlight how retail property is evolving and needs to track changing consumer demand.
About the Author
Tom Edson, our head of Retail Capital Markets specialises in this, ranging from High Street, Shopping Centre, Retail Parks and Supermarkets. He has helped some of the UK largest Investment companies formulate strategy on the acquisition or disposal of commercial property. To get in touch, contact Tom.Edson@colliers.com.