Key Retailer Responses
Amazon said on April 14 that Whole Foods Market stores are open one hour early for customers that are age 60 or over. Shoppers ordering from Prime Now, Amazon or Whole Foods can select an unattended delivery option. Customers also have more time to return orders. An Amazon spokesperson previously said in a statement to Retail Dive that Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star and Amazon Pop Up, as well as Amazon Go stores in Chicago, New York City and San Francisco are temporarily closed. They were previously closed through April 7.
The company announced in March it was not allowing any shoppers in stores after it had previously said it was limiting the number of people in its physical locations. Instead, the retailer implemented contactless curbside pickup. Effective April 19, the company is furloughing about 51,000 U.S. hourly store associates, including “nearly all” part-time workers. Affected employees will retain their health benefits at no cost for at least three months, the company said.
The company — which operates Williams Sonoma, Williams Sonoma Home, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, West Elm, Rejuvenation, and Mark and Graham — said on April 15 it will extend U.S. and Canada store closures through May 3.
The company announced on April 6 that it is in the process of installing plexiglass shields at its pharmacies and front-end counters. The retailer has also introduced senior shopping hours between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. daily for individuals aged 60 and over. The retailer has also added social distancing markers throughout stores and is following local limits for the number of shoppers allowed in stores. The retailer on April 6 announced it has begun hiring for 5,000 full- and part-time positions for its store and distribution teams, having already “significantly increased staffing levels” to fulfill online orders quicker.
he company announced that, starting April 19, all locations will have an “Appreciation Hour” on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. where first responders and healthcare workers can shop without a membership. The retailer also updated shopping hours for members 60 and over to between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday. In early April, the club retailer placed limits on how many members could be in a store at any given time. No more than 20% of a club’s total capacity will be allowed to enter a store at a time.
Source: Retail Dive
Consumers stating that they are “Very Concerned” about thevirus dropped for the first time from the prior week
Those people shifted from red into yellow “somewhat concerned” (5 –6 on the scale).
The percent of consumers stating they are “unconcerned”(0 –3 on the scale) has remained relatively flat at <5% over the past 5 weeks.
Data Source: Numerator COVID-19 Weekly WE 4/14/2020
Inability to see family & friends rose from prior week into the top spot, with 54% of people stating this as a concern.
Fear of infection still remainsthe highest Primary Concerns among shoppers..
Product scarcity, job security and cancelling plans are becoming less of a concerns to consumers as they acclimate & come to grips with the new change in lifestyle & normality.
CPG & Retail
One-in-four CPG posts revolve around alcohol, with an increasing number of people posting while drinking. Day drinking is becoming more popular.
On social, the trends of eating comfort food and drinking alcohol in quarantine go hand in hand. Consumers consider eating the food they love as a form of self-care.
Curbside pick up was the leading trending topic this week in grocery store posts.
Difficulties with online shopping are a common talking point, including delays in delivery, lack of delivery slots, online shopping scams and fraud, as well as difficult return processes.
Source: Brandwatch CoVid19 Bulletin
Health & Beauty
Business Resources from Jacobs
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Coronavirus Small Business Guide from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
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Target Coronavirus Information Hub
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