Merchandizing, customer service, an innovative experiences like in-store cooking demonstrations and premium wine bars have all become benchmarks for grocery retailers setting themselves apart from competitors. But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, are best practices in health & safety the new metric for success?
In a report released on September 1, IPSOS ranked businesses across a number of industries on their health & safety protocols from COVID-19. In the Grocery sector, Whole Foods was a clear winner among 33 other national retailers including Trader Joe’s and Walmart. IPSOS sent “mystery shoppers” into locations around the country to report on how businesses are operating amidst the pandemic as it continues to spread. They measured compliance of PPE (personal protective equipment), signage, store cleanliness, barriers to enforce social distancing, and availability of sanitizing options.
This recent report by IPSOS is the second in a series of reports rating compliance and protocols across Grocery, Food Service/Restaurants, Financial Services, Big Box, and Convenience Stores. Compared to the first report, the second noted the continued prevention efforts lagging in some businesses compared to the prior report in June.
Particularly in the US, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Businesses are continuing to adapt and predict what the “new normal” will look like. It now seems that changes once thought to be temporary will be deemed permanent and more critical than ever to maintain competitive advantage.