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Sarah Halzack

The Online Grocery Boom Reveals a Few Big Winners

The pandemic has made shoppers more comfortable with ordering groceries online, which should strengthen giants such as Walmart and Target.

Walmart can squeeze that produce for you just fine.

Walmart can squeeze that produce for you just fine.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Covid-19-related lockdowns have ushered in plenty of consumer behaviors that I don’t expect to last, including cutting one’s own hair and baking enough homemade bread to spark a run on yeast

But there’s at least one spending shift brought on by the pandemic that is bound to be quite sticky: buying groceries online. Many shoppers tried this format for the first time in the past several months, and there’s good reason to believe they won’t give it up. It’s a dynamic that will further strengthen retail heavyweights Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and Costco Wholesale Corp., while putting more pressure on traditional grocery chains.