Surging Demand Stresses Grocery Delivery and Pickup Systems

The sudden surge in online grocery orders triggered by the coronavirus pandemic has some retailers’ pickup and home delivery operations stressed to the breaking point.

Daily U.S. online sales for groceries jumped dramatically in mid-March, doubling levels seen earlier that month, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index released Tuesday by Adobe Analytics. The new Index analyzes trillions of online transactions across 100 million items spanning 18 product categories.

The Index’s data also show grocery orders placed online for store pickup by consumers during the period of Feb. 24 to March 21 rose 62% over the same period last year. A rise in demand was not unexpected as state and local authorities across the nation urge social distancing and issue stay-at-home orders in efforts to contain spread of COVID-19 disease.

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