Hamster purchases: one-stop shopping for fear of infection

economy Fear of infection

The Germans are now betting on one-stop shopping

| Reading time: 4 minutes

Carsten Dierig

The trend is towards “one-stop shopping”

According to market researcher IRI, the products with the highest sales are no longer toilet paper and noodles. Instead, the good weather before Easter made for other bestsellers. And there is increasing shopping in hypermarkets.

Instead of flour, pasta and toilet paper, items were suddenly asked for during Easter shopping that are needed in good weather. Also striking: Germans seem to trust the supermarket supply chains more.

Dhe beautiful weather has changed shopping behavior in Germany. In Easter week, instead of flour, pasta and toilet paper, sun protection, ice cream and mixed beer beverages were suddenly in demand in the food retail sector. This emerges from the list of top-selling products in supermarkets, discounters and drugstore chains, which market researchers IRI shows every week in the so-called corona tracker.

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While many top sellers of the past hamster buying weeks remain on the shelf and do not even make it into the top 40 of the products with the highest sales increases compared to the respective previous year period, the stock formation now begins with ice cream and Co.

Source: WORLD infographic

The sale of single and multipacks is almost 85 percent above the figures for the comparative week 2019, for ice cream confectionery it is almost 150 percent. Sales of sunscreen in turn doubled – after having been clearly in the red for eight weeks. Apparently, consumers are preparing to go outside again. In line with this, sales of self-tanners and foot care as well as products for cornea and corns have increased significantly.

The trend is towards one-stop shopping – with caution

Beyond these peaks, however, the dynamics in food retailing remain fundamentally high – even though there are only a few “hamster grocery groups” in the top ranking. Toilet paper is even down year on year. The bottom line, however, is that IRI reports an impressive 19.5 percent increase in sales for calendar week 15 compared to the same period last year.

Source: WORLD infographic

But in this case the comparison lags: Because 2019 fell on a later date. And Easter week is one of the best-selling weeks in retail even without Corona. “Around 60 percent of the sales development can probably be traced back to the effect of the Easter shift in week 15,” estimates IRI data expert Sebastian Hendricks. Excluding this effect, growth is still 7.3 percent.

For shopping, consumers are increasingly drawn to the hypermarkets, i.e. the large-scale shops with several thousand square meters of sales space. “The trend towards one-stop shopping has increased again,” comments Hendricks. “The consumer wants to cover his needs with just one purchase and reduce his shopping trips in order to minimize contacts and thus his personal risk of infection.” With an increase of 30.2 percent, the format of the consumer market, as offered by Real or Kaufland, for example is, well above the average and also clearly in front of the other shops.

Source: WORLD infographic

While the traditional grocery trade with 19.5 percent is still exactly the average in week 15, the brand discounters such as Netto or Penny with 12.8 percent are not even as popular as the consumer markets. The drugstores are even negative for the third week in a row, this time with almost 15 percent. In addition to one-stop shopping, market researchers also cite the often lacking availability of popular items such as toilet paper, disinfection or disposable gloves as a possible reason.

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Customer hoarding paper towels during the coronavirus crisis in Germany Getty ImagesGetty Images

Such articles are now searched for on the Internet instead. Online retailing of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), for example food and hygiene items, has therefore skyrocketed in the past few weeks. The growth rates are 55, 60 or even 75 percent depending on the week, as the statistics show. In the Easter week, however, the hamsters in the net seem to be over again.

Turnover still remains significantly above the previous year’s level. An increase of 25.6 percent means the lowest growth in a month. Probably also because the confidence of the Germans in the supply chains of the trade has returned. “The extreme hamster purchases in March were certainly also driven by the fear that bottlenecks and delivery difficulties could arise. However, this fear has been taken away from consumers, ”says IRI expert Hendricks.

Nevertheless, online trading in everyday FMCG goods will remain in demand in the coming months. “The corona crisis has given the online food business a lot of momentum, and buying groceries online will certainly benefit from this dynamic even after the pandemic and contact breakdown,” Hendricks is certain.