Americans are less enamored today of the one-stop-shop supermarkets that dominated the grocery industry a generation ago, a trend that analysts say provides an opening for Amazon and other digital disruptors to fundamentally remake the way people shop in the future.
Although Amazon became an e-commerce giant in part on the promise of offering everything from books to breakfast cereal under one virtual roof, the flip side of these technological innovations is a consumer preference that actually harkens back not just to a pre-ecommerce, but a pre-supermarket era.
“We’re kind of returning to the way shopping used to be in the 50s — those individual specialty players are starting to be more in vogue,” Matt Sargent, senior vice president at consumer market research firm Magid, told NBC News. “More retailers are being shopped, on average, and are being shopped more frequently.”
Half of today’s shoppers patronize three or more grocery stores, including roughly one in six who shop at five different stores, according to Magid research.
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