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Grocery expansion of curbside pickup during COVID.


A grocer that relied predominantly on Instacart for delivery orders wanted to estimate the value of offering curbside pickup to ~1000 stores.  The analysis criteria included: 1:10 test: match, attribute matching on geographic distance and pricing zone and weekly financial pattern matching for total (taxes, net sale, average sales price and margin) and for Instacart (transaction and net sales).  The post period was staggered for approximately 50 weeks due to COVID-19 panicking.

Actions & Calculations:

Following the continued expansion of Curbside Pickup, the net impacts overall were positive, with some cannibalization to deliver and in-store shopping.  Stores experienced statistically significant increases in sales (1.8% lift), transactions (1.8% lift) and margin (1.6% lift.  Both delivery and Brick & Mortan experienced cannibalization of less than 3% to Sales.  Instacart shopping also experienced incremental sales across all performance metrics.  Data indicated there were no changes in performance based on proximity to another curbside store.  Modeling suggested sales lifts were greater in stores with lower non-Food % of Sales, Transaction Counts and Instacart % of Total Sales.   We also saw a lift in stores in areas with median household and education levels, areas that had a younger population and stores with less parking availability.


The model projected an estimated +$214M in net benefit to total sales when applied to the 1083 stores for the 50-week prediction time frame. By targeting the rollout, the grocer could drive $216 MM in annual benefit.  Annual net benefit at $216MM.  We followed this up with a detailed cost breakdown that included all incremental assets (e.g., front entrance banner), necessary scanners (POS), and the curbside fridge/ freezer as well as staging area.  The approximate cost per store was $40K.