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These are the Grocery Chains with the Sharpest Declines in Foot Traffic

Some stores have been hit harder than others since the coronavirus outbreak.
Cart full of groceries in a grocery store

A new study based on mobile data has revealed which grocery store chains have suffered the largest decline in foot traffic since the outbreak of the coronavirus, and which regional and national chains have benefited the most from pandemic food shopping.

Grocery stores and the essential role they serve our communities has never been more valued than during the current pandemic, when other dining options have been mostly shut down. Some grocery chains have rallied effectively, and, as a result, have seen a sharp increase in favorability ratings by shoppers. Other locations have seen less and less customers strolling in. (To keep yourself informed on the latest grocery store news, sign up for our daily newsletter.)

As StreetFightMag reports, mobile company Reveal Mobile recently analyzed anonymous, aggregated location data from its customers' smartphones to figure out where people have been going pre- and mid-pandemic. Data was taken pre-coronavirus (January 15th to February 29th) and during the outbreak (March 1st to April 15th), then compared.

What did the data reveal? "The high point for foot traffic to grocery stores in the U.S. during the Covid-19 pandemic was March 15, when stores saw a 17% jump in visits from the start of the month," explains Dan Dillon, the VP of marketing at Reveal Mobile. "Two days prior to that peak, on March 13, the U.S. declared a national emergency."

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"Foot traffic to grocery stores then declined significantly from the peak on March 15, dropping 66% over the following 30 days," Dillon adds.

Reveal Mobile's report goes on to identify four grocery chains that have "kept shoppers coming back consistently even as visits to grocers across the country declined steadily." Those grocers are United Supermarkets in Texas, Food Giant in the South, Country Market in the Midwest, and Foodland in Hawaii. Presumably, this may be because they are one of the only local grocery stores available in these areas.

Overall, Manhattan-based chain Gristedes Supermarkets and New York/New Jersey chain Food Emporium had the highest foot traffic nationwide from March 1 to April 15. This may be because of the population sizes they're serving.

On the other hand, the grocery chains that saw the greatest decline in real-life customers coming in to shop were Bravo Supermarkets on the East Coast, Stop & Shop in the northeastern U.S., and The Fresh Market, which is also in the Eastern part of the U.S. Likely, their similar location is not a coincidence, but Reveal Mobile's report didn't suggest or point to why that may be the case.

To keep yourself safe during your next food run, make sure to avoid these 7 grocery shopping mistakes.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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