Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Weekly Retail Update: November 10, 2020

Food Retail Likely Carried by Food and Beverage Stores

Line graph: Food Retail Total Sales Growth Year Over Year by Vendor Type, January 2020 to September 2020

The food and beverage stores subsector consists of beer, wine and liquor, specialty food stores, and grocery stores, and is likely to carry food retail for the foreseeable future, barring a vaccine, as consumers have pivoted away from experiential retail and remain cautious of restaurants and drinking places. Food retail spending accounts for approximately 25% of retail sales with anticipation of increased year-over-year spending during the holiday season.

Increased growth rates for both BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) and delivery options provide consumers with ample means of purchasing frozen groceries and fresh groceries whilst being able to avoid public areas.

The product of the aforementioned in addition to more consumers working from home, consumer disposition towards dining out or dine-out options, and reduced in-person corporate and social events are likely to preserve the transition of dollars allocated towards food from food service to retail in the 4th quarter.