August 2, 2017

While online habits will continue to increasingly impact retail, grocery is one category of goods that some people may never be willing to buy online. While there’s no shortage of options for online grocery shopping, consumers – particularly in the U.S. – still seem partial to picking out their own groceries in a store, for two primary reasons: price and preference.

According to James Cook, JLL’s Americas Director of Retail Research, who notes that only one to three percent of grocery purchases currently occur online, “Profit margins in grocery are very slim. As a result, delivering groceries using last mile refrigerator trucks means increased prices and added delivery fees.”

“Most American shoppers would rather save money and pick up the goods, while also being able to pick their own meat and produce – they don’t like the idea of someone else doing it for them.”

A recent Neilsen study supports the view, finding that 54 percent of people in North America “prefer buying groceries at a physical store and will not consider buying them online.” Only 4 percent said they were “currently buying groceries online regularly.”

As such, grocery stores continue to see traffic and, according to JLL Executive Vice President Nat Heald, “Everyone still wants grocery-anchored shopping centers.”

Across the Unites States, grocery-anchored shopping centers have seen strong demand, absorbing 6.8 million square feet over the last 12 months – 16.8 percent of all shopping center demand. Additionally, supermarket-anchored centers absorbed more than three times as much space proportionally as all shopping centers in the past 12 months.

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Nat Heald

Executive Vice President, JLL Capital Markets

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