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All news / Russian Grocers Feel Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown

  • 10 Apr 2020, 11:43

The lockdown imposed over the coronavirus outbreak has caused a significant drop in customer traffic at Russian grocery stores, Vedomosti reports citing Sergei Belyakov from the Retail Companies Association (ACORT).

According to him, the number of customers at convenience stores fell by 20-30% between March 30 and April 5, compared to the week of March 16-22, when the demand for goods with long shelf lives, hygiene items and toilet paper was sky-high. The situation is similar in hypermarkets, where customer traffic has plummeted by 40-60%.

Customers don’t have detailed information about the rules of shopping during the lockdown, they don’t know whether they can ride their car or take a taxi to go shopping, Director of Communications at Auchan Natalya Rychkova pointed out. According to her, many don’t even know if supermarkets in their closest shopping malls were still open.

The average check growth at grocery stores is declining, Belyakov said, adding that people had stocked up on food. He also noted that the fall in customer traffic would cause further damage to retailers.

Mikhail Burmistrov, Director General at Infoline-Analytics, in turn, says that a significant number of people in Moscow and St. Petersburg either have moved to purchasing food online or are ready to do so. However, online retailers simply don’t have the capacity to deliver orders on time so it takes a few days or even up to two weeks for an order to be delivered, the expert said.