Pivotal Tools Marketing Guy who loves food and wants to see Independent Grocers Win!
In our ongoing effort to provide Independent Retailers Powerful Perspectives and Actionable Insights, we looked at a collection of our customers, Independent Grocers across the country, to understand what Memorial Day weekend* sales could tell us about consumer behavior and the opportunity for Independent Grocers.
Memorial Day 2021 was significantly different than 2020 and even 2019. While same store sales were down relative to 2020, when everybody was locked down, they were up significantly compared to 2019.
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: 2019 2020 2021
Weekly Sales**: $452,000 $539,000 $510,000
Same Store Sales - 19% -5%
Same Store Sales (Compared to 2019): - 19% 13%
Store sales only tells part of the story! For the rest of the story, we need to look at the basket.
Memorial Day Weekend Basket: 2019 2020 2021
Basket: $35.55 $58.60 $50.39
Change in Basket (vs Previous Year): - 65% -14%
Change in Basket (Compared to 2019): - 65% 42%
The basket for our Independent Grocers, remains at significantly elevated level, up 42% at $50.3,9 relative to 2019.
The composition of the basket, yields even more interesting insights!
Memorial Day Weekend 2019 2020 2021
Basket Composition (by Dept)
Grocery 32% 34% 32%
Produce 17% 18% 19%
Meat 17% 18% 18%
Service Deli/Prepared Foods 15% 10% 13%
Service Bakery 5% 4% 5%
General Merchandise 4% 4% 3%
Liquor 10% 11% 11%
Service Deli/Prepared Foods 2019 2020 2021
Weekly Sales $106,900 $84,100 $99,800
Same Store Sales -- -21% 19%
Same Store Sales (Compared to 2019): -- -21% -6%
This data suggests that shoppers are definitely coming back to buy prepared foods/service deli items, and not just on Memorial Day. There's more deli prepared foods sales to come. To get back just to 2019 sales levels for service deli/prepared foods predicts an increase of more than 6% in the near future. If customer basket size continues at current levels the increase in service/deli sales will be even greater!
Definitely keep an eye on that basket size!
We'll be back with more data indicating those increases in service deli sales will happen quickly!
*Memorial Day weekend includes sales for Friday - Monday of the Memorial Holiday for 2019, 2020, and 2021.
** Memorial Weekend Sales are normalized to a week period to allow comparison to other periods