Despite increasing competition, the traditional grocers who remain have proven repeatedly that they can survive and thrive by constantly improving operationally and leveraging a deep personal connection to their customers. Today, however, disruption is coming at an unprecedented speed, and food retailers of all shapes and sizes will have to address these new challenges. But in a business where there is a constant battle over pennies on the dollar, it is often difficult to look up from the day-to-day operations of the business and see what’s coming in the next few years.
The food retail industry is no stranger to change and disruption. Over the past 25 years, new players—from so called “category killers,” to discounters and online retailers—have entered the grocery market and broadened the definition of food retail.