The general director of the Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-Services and Supermarkets (Asedas), Ignacio García Magarzo, has estimated a significant drop in sales, double-digit, which could reach 15%, in supermarkets located in coastal areas due to the decrease in tourists, fundamentally international, given the uncertainty derived from the Covid-19 pandemic and circumstances such as the restrictions imposed by some countries, including the United Kingdom.
“It is a very important impact, in the supermarkets of purely tourist areas, a decrease in sales was being noticed in recent weeks compared to the previous year due to the lack of tourists,” said the CEO of Asedas, entity that counts among its associates with Mercadona, Dia, Consum, Coviran, Alimerka or Ahorramas, among others.
This is how García Magarzo has pronounced himself, in statements to Europa Press, after learning this week of the British Government’s decision to impose a quarantine fourteen days to anyone traveling to Spain in a summer marked by the Covid-19 health crisis.
The supermarkets of the Asedas companies located on the Spanish coast and in tourist mountain areas can reach between 15% and 30% of the total establishments, a percentage that varies depending on the different brands, and which is calculated in almost 3,500 stores.
However, the supermarket chains located in the coastal areas compensate for the absence of foreign visitors with inland tourism, however, “in a small part,” García Magarzo said. “We don’t have data to estimate the declines in those areas, but are important, around two digits, and in some other stores, “said the general director of Asedas.
Despite the impact of the decrease in tourists in the supermarkets, those located in urban areas are registering a lower drop compared to the usual sales during these weeks as a consequence of the fact that there are many people who have decided not to leave their cities for fear of outbreaks.
More activity in small towns
Given this situation, it is the supermarkets located in municipalities with less than 4,000 inhabitants that are registering a higher frequency of purchase than in urban stores and an increase in sales of around 15% in a context marked by the pandemic. ” that small-town supermarkets are noticing a fairly significant increase in sales, which means that there is inland tourism that moves more importantly to small rural towns, “said García Magarzo.
The portrait of consumption in the ‘rural supermarket’ During this summer, the trend seen in the pandemic continues: an average ticket higher than the previous summer, as a consequence of a larger shopping basket due to the better purchase frequency.
“Sanitary restrictions and staying on premises for the shortest possible time since the beginning of the pandemic have lowered the frequency of purchases and increase the average ticket; this occurs in all kinds of establishments and also rural ones “, affirmed the general director of Asedas.
In his opinion, the Covid-19 pandemic will determine for some time the behavior of consumers in their food purchases. “We are still seeing increased demand as a result of the Hospitality is not working at full capacity, although in no case can one speak of a transfer of consumption. In any case, we don’t know how the consumer is going to get out of the health crisis, “he added.
Specifically, regarding the evolution of sales during confinement, García Magarzo has indicated that there have been many differences between the first days and the following, and also between companies. Overall, at the start of the confinement sales grew between 10% and 15% and, subsequently, in recent weeks they moderated to between 3% and 5%.
“In many cases, the smallest stores registered a higher growth than the largest for its location; people get used to buying in the nearest store, an important growth of the regional stores has been registered that make the proximity count, “he highlighted.