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Each of the retailers in the First Quartile on the Covid had their own special recipe for driving momentum during 2020. Target ranks second in Digital and 9th in speed, while also ranking decently in Operations (16th). Fry's Foods and Kroger rank first and second respectively in Discounts, Rewards & Information, while also securing a decent competitive position in Digital (17th, 10th) and Operations (7th, 18th). Fareway and Publix leaned on Speed and Operations as their strengths for success during Covid.

A retailer may be wondering why they didn't make the First Quartile on the Covid Momentum Metric, especially since they may be experiencing what is for them explosive year-over-year growth. Aside from keeping in mind that most retailers are experiencing explosive year-over-year growth, an examination of the customer value propositions of the average retailer in the different Momentum Quartiles offers some answers.

In the instance of the typical Second Quartile Covid Momentum Metric retailer, you may be performing better than most on Speed, Digital and Discounts, Rewards & Information, but the retailers in the First Quartile are just performing better. Additionally, you could be doing better at Operations – perhaps you suffered from more out-of-stocks or price volatility than the competition. If you're a Third Quartile retailer, you're really strong at Discounts, Rewards & Information, but your Speed to shop and/or your Digital offering are holding you back from additional market share momentum. If you're a Fourth Quartile retailer, you're performing too far below average on either Speed, Digital or Discounts, Rewards & Information – or some combination of the three – to hold or improve your market share during Covid.

Looking at performance on Prices, Quality and Convenience, there is no clear pattern by Covid Momentum Quartile. Those who are in the First Quartile for Momentum, on average, score worse on Price than those in the Second and Fourth Quartile. (Of course, there are always exceptions to the average.) They also score worse, as a group, on Quality than any other Momentum Quartile. All Quartiles score about the same on Convenience.

Why would Target move up in the rankings, while Walmart would slide? Why would BJ's increase, while fellow wholesaler Costco moved down? Why do the traditional, regional Kroger and Food Lion banners have one of the best Covid Momentum Metric scores in the market, while the traditional, regional Safeway banner doesn't? Answering these questions helps get at the heart of why certain retailers gained more momentum than others during Covid.

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Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

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