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The four things grocery center tenants should do post-pandemic

Al Urbanski
Erik Rosentrauch
Erik Rosentrauch

One of the most amazing occurrences during of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the mind of Erik Rosentrauch, is the blooming of Walmart’s product delivery programs, including a $10 option for two-hour home delivery.

“Walmart has hired 150,000 in three weeks. That’s a faster aggregation of people than the troops that were drafted in World War II,” said the CEO of Fuel Partnerships, a marketing agency serving several large supermarket chains. 

“Fifty thousand of those people are going to be going into stores to shop BOPIS [buy online, pick up in-store] orders. Amazon’s been shown to have problems delivering within two days during the COVID-19 crisis, and Walmart’s promising home delivery in two hours because they have 4,800  stores that can serve as distribution centers,” Rosentrauch said.

Walmart’s increased BOPIS customers, meanwhile, continue to create traffic for other tenants in the same shopping centers. Those tenants should be planning to take advantage of the following four areas, according to Rosentrauch:

Convenience: Lululemon and Dick’s Sporting Goods let customers make appointments with store associated to help them select and try on products. “Why couldn’t nail salons let customers make online appointments in the same way?” posed Rosentrauch.

Speed: If Walmart is speedily putting curbside orders into people’s cars, other tenants in the center must be prepared to serve these customers just as quickly.

Provide value: Lots of people started using Instacart to deliver restaurant orders during the pandemic, but Instacart is expensive. Create a reasonably priced service to cut into Instacart’s business.

Safety: Don’t underestimate the profound effect that COVID-19 will continue to have on people’s expectations for safety inside retail locations. Said Rosentrauch: Safety’s key. Stores have to make all necessary modifications. 

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