Research Outline

COVID-19 and African Grocery Retail


Support a five-minute presentation for a supermarket chain of 900 independently-owned stores in South Africa by analyzing the consequences of 4 major implications of COVID-19 on grocery retail in Africa. These four major implications are 1) a protracted recession, 2) a local move to online purchasing, 3) effects on localisation (meaning the inverse of globalisation) as it affects the food supply, and 4) rising consumer expectations of a more caring society.

The consequences identified need to be pragmatic and applicable for the audience, from a product and experience point of view. The report should be in presentation form.

Early Findings

As can be expected, COVID-19 is having a massive effect on South Africa. Budgets are expected to tighten considerably, and consumer expectations are not necessarily reversing, but are becoming far less forgiving of mistakes. Consumers are exploring online purchasing due to the lockdown and they may not go back to offline retail in the same way once the crisis lifts. While there's no direct data to support the idea of a more caring society, there is a definite shift in consumer expectations for brands to fulfil their responsibilities- and even go beyond them, becoming a source of stability and care, in these trying times.

A presentation of our early findings can be found here.