Weekly Retail Replace: April 19, 2021

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Weekly Retail Update: April 19, 2021

Advanced food and drink sales estimates rose 36% in March 2021 from March 2020 as the relaxation of some pandemic-related restrictions, the distribution of stimulus payments, and the distribution of vaccines led consumers to return to restaurants and bars. The year-on-year increase in March is the first year-on-year increase in 2021 for dining and drinking options as it shows how eager consumers are to get up and go again when pedestrian traffic in the store increases. While the year-over-year growth in food and drink sales has been quite dramatic, we need to understand that March 2020 and March 2021 are very different. In March 2020, shops and restaurants were ordered to close in mid-month due to the pandemic that significantly reduced traditional dine-in sales. The result of the closure of traditional dine-ins has been an increase in roadside, drive-up and delivery sales. Now, in March 2021, traditional dine-in operations have resumed more capacity than they did a year ago. We know more about COVID-19, we have vaccines that are being distributed, consumers are feeling safer about the health situation and consumer sentiment is better about the economy.

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Monthly we bounced back from February's low of the year, and warmer weather came as winter weather stopped limiting sales in March and grew 13.4%.

Similar to the food service and drink sales, online grocery delivery fell in February and rebounded in March. Monthly grocery delivery revenue increased more than 116% year over year in March 2021 compared to February 2021 and March 2021 year over year.

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DoorDash continues to acquire most of its grocery delivery sales, holding 55% as of March. Uber Eats had the second largest revenue at 22%. Grubhub ranked third with 17% of grocery delivery sales in March. Postmates, which was acquired by Uber in late January, acquired a 5% stake in monthly U.S. grocery delivery sales in March.

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