By James Davey
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s multi-billion pound supermarket industry is placing its bets on whether big-spending older shoppers will stick with buying their groceries online when months of lockdown end.
Having more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic to represent 16% of Britain’s roughly 200 billion pound ($281 billion) food retail market, the country has one of the world’s highest take-ups of online grocery.
Ocado boss Tim Steiner says it’s here to stay and will carry on growing quickly.
Not so fast, say bosses of some established rivals.
“A lot of people are talking about the new normal, I’m absolutely convinced that we are not in this new normal right now, we are in the temporary normal, we are in an extraordinary time,” Christian Härtnagel, CEO of Lidl GB, told Reuters.
He believes that as the crisis recedes, so will online grocery penetration, not back to pre-COVID-19 levels