Arizona professor expects bulk shopping to continue after health crisis

Apr 27, 2020, 4:05 AM
(Getty Images/Al Bello)...
(Getty Images/Al Bello)
(Getty Images/Al Bello)

PHOENIX — Stockpile purchasing of groceries and other essentials could prove to be a new normal for consumers, according to a University of Arizona professor.

Sabrina Helm, associate professor in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences believes this could be the case regardless of what Gov. Doug Ducey decides to do about his stay-at-home executive order that is set to expire at month’s end.

“Irrespective of what the governor may decide, consumers also decide,” Helm said.

“It seems like many are quite conscious of potential risk.”

Helm believes that consumers will still want some brick-and-mortars for groceries and household items, likely planning their shopping around health and economic factors.

“There will be a little bit of a safety stock kept at home, depending on consumers’ financial abilities, and of course, based on the amount of room they have in their house,” she said.

Helm added that the pandemic’s end doesn’t mean a quick return to normal consumer confidence, especially if consumers lost some or all of their income during the pandemic.

While business is down during the Coronavirus pandemic, Helm says retailers can adapt further and plan a comeback.

One way many businesses have adapted is by increasing their online presence and thus their appeal to young consumers.

“They [young consumers] care about the environment and well-being and health and the social equity of business, and all that,” Helm said.

Businesses must also be mindful of how they are perceived by the public during this health crisis, according to Helm, because consumers will “gauge the reputation of a retailer in terms of what they really did for the employees and their customers in these difficult times.

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Arizona professor expects bulk shopping to continue after health crisis