So, is this the vision of future shopping habits? What might have been a 5/10 year vision 12 months ago, COVID 19 has accelerated the move to a more “omni-channel” experience. The Issa Brothers and TDR’s acquisition of ASDA came with this idea – no longer a behemoth store with a vast car park, but a hive of activity including “click and collect” drive through channels; fleets of vans on electric charge ready to deliver to the local community and complementary brands within the store, perhaps offering “high street” services (laundry, hairdressing, café etc).
The shift to online business is now the “genie out of the bottle”. Internet food sales now account for >13% of the total cake, and OCADO, the pure online grocery retailer, now has a market cap higher than Tesco. Despite this, the big 4 have an enormous physical store presence which they can better use to fulfil the customer needs. Supermarket Income REIT and their investors certainly think so, being close to raising c£200m of fresh equity, and London Metric, who we helped acquire 5 Waitrose food stores for £63 million during the summer.