Over-55s turn to grocery shopping online during coronavirus pandemic

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Before the pandemic, eight percent of the age group were regularly buying food online – compared with 23 percent now. The survey by OnePoll, for Waitrose, also found 74 percent of over-55s had done at least some food shopping online this year, while last year the figure was 47 percent.

Waitrose executive director James Bailey said: “Even before the pandemic, there are few retailers that wouldn’t have predicted the continued growth of e-commerce relative to physical shops. But what would have previously been a gradual upward climb in demand has – with the outbreak of Covid-19 – turned into a trajectory more reminiscent of scaling Everest.”

Of the 2,000 people quizzed, two in three said they were shopping online to avoid having to go into stores.

The research also showed online wine orders have doubled, with 17 percent of people buying more bottles than before the pandemic hit. A quarter of all online booze was bought between 11am and noon for later the same day.

Meanwhile, the most popular time for all Waitrose website visits was between 9am and noon on Thursdays.

Some 44 percent said they avoided products with a lot of packaging and 30 percent bought British whenever they could.

And 40 percent of online shoppers think they will continue to buy groceries via the internet once the pandemic is over.

Mr Bailey said: “Because online shopping quickly becomes habitual, these changes are irreversible. Shopping behaviours have changed profoundly.”

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