International Retailers Cool shoppings
In the UK, climate change has had an unexpected impact on grocery retail this unusually pleasant summer: the share of online sales dipped to 10.4% over the four weeks to 17 June from 10.9% in May as punters popped into stores for drinks and refreshments, and presumably a bit of aircon and some incidental grocery shopping. “These visits would have included smaller baskets, drinks, snacks and refreshments, as shoppers were out and about enjoying the sun,” said Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight at NIQ’s UK who produced the numbers. Over the pond, Chicago’s Mayor Brandon Johnson is proposing radical measures to deal with the growing food deserts of the city’s poorer neighbourhoods: a municipally owned grocery store, which, he argues, would promote “equitable” access to food. Several big-name grocery stores have closed in recent years, including Walmart who in April this year announced the closure of three stores in Chicago’s South and West Side neighbourhoods, and one in the more affluent North Side after years of profitability challenges despite investing in upgrades to the stores.
Comment: In the US, as in SA, food deserts are a real problem in poorer areas, but there they don’t have independent grocers and spazas to bail them out.