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Omnichannel development and general merchandise sales are key, says Bank of America’s Robby Ohmes. Credit: Kwangmoozaa / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Walmart, discounters in strong position heading into 2021

Omnichannel development and general merchandise sales are key, says Bank of America’s Robby Ohmes

During the recent SN Analysts Roundtable, Supermarket News spoke with Robby Ohmes, analyst at Bank of America, about what the grocery industry experienced in 2020 under COVID-19 — and which companies he expects to see retain the success that retailers have seen in pandemic America.

Ohmes said he has been paying close attention to Walmart, Target and other discounters. “We think the discounters are the big beneficiaries of the development done on the omnichannel side of the business during COVID-19,” he said. “And we think that's going to carry over well for them into next year. One of the benefits that we think Walmart and Target have relative to the food retailers is that they sell general merchandise and we're seeing the momentum in general merchandise improve, which is coinciding with the big uptake on their omnichannel initiatives, particularly pickup but also delivery.”

He noted that retailers such as Walmart and Target are able to not just deliver groceries, but also a full assortment of general merchandise that consumers continue to seek out in the ongoing pandemic even as a vaccine begins to roll out.

“The numbers speak really strongly about the momentum,” Ohmes said. “And we think that's going to continue next year, even if hopefully the virus goes away."

For more of Ohmes’ thoughts on where the food retail industry is headed in 2021, check out the short video below.


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