Traverse City News and Events

Here's Meijer's COVID Shopping Snapshot

April 9, 2021

To mark the recent one-year milestone of the COVID-19 pandemic, Meijer has shared some of the top shopping trends it tracked across its 256 locations in the past year. The grocery store chain shared the information via a press release on Thursday, with key takeaways spanning everything from customers embracing shopping technologies to a rise in bulk purchasing.

Here are a few of Meijer’s notable pandemic trends:

 - Customers were looking for ways to stay socially distant: Meijer reports that its home delivery and grocery pickup services both doubled their customer adoption over the past 12 months. Additionally, Meijer’s “Shop & Scan” technology – which allows customers to scan and bag merchandise as they go through the store, rather than going through a checkout lane or kiosk – tracked more than 100 million customer uses.

 - Gas sales were down: Meijer sold less gas over the past year – a trend the chain attributes to less commuting. Despite that decrease, Meijer Express gas station locations have remained popular places for customers to buy beverages, snacks, and especially firewood and propane – both of which had “double-digit growth” in sales.

 - Meijer’s to-go meals were a popular choice: Due to restaurant closures, reduced capacities, and lengthy wait times for takeout food, Meijer’s “grab ‘n go” meal options – including sushi, pasta salad, fried chicken, and more – saw a “dramatic increase” in popularity. For example, the chain reports that it has sold more than 500,000 rotisserie chickens in the past month alone.

 - Bulk buying is a trend: Customers appear to be reducing their exposure risk in part by cutting down on their number of visits to the grocery store. In particular, Meijer saw customers stocking up on bagged produce – such as potatoes, tomatoes, and apples – rather than buying those items a la carte.

 - Everyone wanted to win the lottery: In the midst of pandemic gloom, the dream of a huge financial windfall only grew more common. Lottery ticket sales at Meijer have been on the rise, with scratch-off and weekly lottery sales in particular up more than 25 percent over the past year.

 - Recreation and health were top-of-mind: Sales for outdoor recreation gear – ranging from bikes to pools to fishing gear – were all up significantly in 2020. The same was true for home gym equipment, with products like weights, yoga mats, and curling bars seeing a 300-percent increase in demand from the previous year.

And of course, Meijer also recorded huge sales figures for hand sanitizer, masks, and cleaning supplies in 2020.

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