- Sales at Albertsons have returned to their levels before the pandemic started in early 2020, according to an analysis of consumer transaction data published Tuesday by Bloomberg Second Measure.
- The grocer is also seeing fewer shoppers than it did prior to the onset of the public health crisis, although average monthly sales per customer remain higher, Second Measure reported.
- While the surge in overall sales Albertsons posted at the beginning of the pandemic may have fizzled, people's spending at Albertsons remains heightened.
The increase in monthly sales per customer that has been compensating for the pandemic-induced drop-off in the number of shoppers the grocer has seen each month is subsiding, according to the report from Bloomberg Second Measure.
While Albertsons' average monthly sales per customer were higher throughout 2021 than they were in 2019, the metric began trending downward as 2021 drew to a close, Second Measure found. By contrast, the grocer saw average monthly sales per shopper rise during the final months of 2020 and 2019.
Albertsons' ability to increase sales per customer over the past several years could be related to its efforts to boost digital sales and strike partnerships with third-party e-commerce companies, the Second Measure report noted. Albertsons officials have said recently the company is looking to technology to improve efficiency and the company's financial performance.
Albertsons has signed on with multiple online marketplaces, including DoorDash and Uber, and is increasingly looking to automated micro-fulfillment to improve online order fulfillment efficiency. The company has also been an early mover with consumer-facing technology like livestreaming and automatic product refills.
Albertsons' sales in November 2021 were in line with the level recorded during that month in 2020, but were 3% below where they were in November 2019, the data analysis company said.
Meanwhile, while Albertsons' overall customer volume between April and November 2021 remained above where it was during that stretch of 2020, figures for both years were below levels seen in 2019, Second Measure reported. Albertsons attracted 4% more customers in November 2021 than it did during the same period in 2020, but the figure was 8% lower than it was in that month in 2019.
Albertsons' overall sales and monthly sales per customer both appear to be losing steam even as the grocer has seen improvements in same-store sales. In October, the grocer said identical store sales were up 1.5% in its second quarter compared with Q2 of 2020 and 15.3% over the same period in 2019.
Albertsons will report financial earnings for its fiscal third quarter 2021 next Tuesday.