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How the Grocery & Convenience sector can support the vulnerable

Tuesday 24 March 2020 Data Insight & AnalyticsRetail Consultancy

Charlotte King's picture
By Charlotte King

How the grocery and convenience sector can use data to identify and support the elderly and at-risk groups in our community

The grocery and convenience market has evolved rapidly over the last few weeks with the impact of Covid-19 being felt across the industry. Grocers are having to react quickly to the changing market not only to ensure supply chains don’t crack under the pressure imposed by panic buying and stockpiling but also to ensure the elderly and vulnerable are supported in these unprecedented times. 

Retailers are already working hard to identify these at-risk communities; we have seen this week a range of innovative measures introduced by supermarkets and convenience retailers to help support the elderly and vulnerable. Examples include the golden shopping hour which was initially adopted by Iceland after a local initiative from their West Belfast store was rolled out nationally. Other big four grocers and discounters have since followed suit dedicating special hours to elderly or at-risk groups. Spar and other convenience retailers have introduced measures for those at risk or self-isolating from the virus to have their groceries delivered to the door. The measures are not only being introduced in store; priority is also being given to the elderly for online deliveries from Sainsbury’s for example.

CACI have identified towns with the highest proportion of vulnerable people through combining our current population estimates for the over 70s with our health and wellbeing characteristics (Wellbeing Acorn). Through layering our health and wellbeing data we are can identify people most at risk of being diagnosed with the key health conditions identified by the NHS, notably Asthma, Lung conditions and Heart Disease as well as social isolation and mental health problems.

 

 

Through creating a vulnerability score based off these variables the top 15 towns identified are:

Rank Town

Wellbeing Acorn 
Vulnerability Index

Percentage over 70
1 Mablethorpe 304

30.5%

2 Walton on the Naze 259 32.0%
3 Freshwater 244 28.9%
4 Filey 205 26.5%
5 Swaffham 199 26.7%
6 Birchington 196 28.8%
7 Frinton-on-Sea 192 30.4%
8 Winchelsea 191 28.5%
9 Cromer 179 28.1%
10 Seaton 177 32.5%
11 Bexhill-on-Sea 175 27.6%
12 Sheringham 174 31.4%
13 New Milton 174 30.1%
14 Isle of Cumbrae 173 28.6%
15 Hunstanton 169 33.2%

 

There is a clear coastal focus to the towns identified as having the highest proportion of at-risk groups within their community. Using CACIs grocery gravity model (ProVision) we have analysed the demographics of every supermarket’s catchment in the UK to produce a vulnerability ranking. Interestingly 60% of the top 10 supermarkets identified are Co-op’s highlighting the importance they already have in supporting local communities. The table below indicates for a variety of grocers the supermarkets which serve some of their most vulnerable people. Community groups such as the Covid-19 Mutual Aid group and grocers are looking for the best way to support these groups, it is hoped that through harnessing the data we have as a society we can use to it to make a difference in bringing our community together at a time like this.

 

Supermarket

Wellbeing Acorn 
Vulnerability Index

Percentage over 70
Co-op - Chapel St.Leonards Food Store, Skegness 293

30.9%

Lidl - Mablethorpe High Street 240 29.2%
Aldi - Kirby Road, Walton on the Naze 207 31.8%
Iceland - Frinton-on-Sea 202 31.8%
Tesco - Filey Superstore 183 26.3%
Asda - Selsey 174 26.7%
Marks & Spencer - Bexhill-on-Sea 158 27.3%
Budgens - Holt 149 28.7%
Sainsbury's - Hunstanton Superstore 143 33.3%
Morrisons - Cromer 141 27.3%

 

If you would like to know how the stores in your estate rank in terms of vulnerability or how you can utilise the data to help serve your community more effectively, please do get in touch.

The grocery and convenience market has evolved rapidly over the last few weeks with the impact of Covid-19 being felt across the industry. Grocers are having to react quickly to the changing market not only to ensure supply chains don’t crack under the pressure imposed by panic buying and stockpiling but also to ensure the elderly and vulnerable are supported in these unprecedented times.

How the Grocery & Convenience sector can support the vulnerable