Some changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, such as the accelerated adoption of online shopping, probably won't go away. Others, such as stockpiling and quarantining behaviors, will, and already are. As the coronavirus vaccine reaches more and more of the population, some pandemic shopping trends will fade. Grocery stores are bracing themselves for the result: less money spent on groceries and essentials as spending shifts back to restaurants and entertainment. Kroger announced that it expected comparable sales to decline by 3% to 5% this year, compared to a more than 20% rise in the year 2020.
The sales downturn dovetails with the widespread arrival of various vaccines, which makes it possible for consumers to shift back to eating more meals at restaurants and outside of their homes.