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Ocado, Sued by AutoStore for Patent Infringement, Responds in Kind

| Mike O'Brien

Ocado, the UK grocery concern that has struck deals with grocers around the world to use its robotic fulfillment center technology, is being sued by AutoStore for intellectual property theft – with AutoStore in turn being investigated by Ocado for patent infringement. AutoStore filed the lawsuits in London and New York.

E-Grocery Sales Down 20% in August, But AOV, Regular Usage Increasing

| Mike O'Brien

While total e-grocery sales in the U.S. declined 20% in August vs. June to $5.2 billion, other factors indicate strength in the sector, such as growth in average order value and repeat usage intent, according to a survey by Mercatus and Brick Meets Click. AOV reached a high of $95, the survey found, 32% higher than a year ago.

Hybrid Physical-Digital Amazon Fresh Grocery Store Opens in Los Angeles

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon has finally opened the doors of its hybrid Amazon Fresh store in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles, a futuristic blend of digital and physical challenging traditional grocers that had been put on hold this spring due to the COVID-19 crisis. Customers can breeze through checkout and navigate the store via Alexa.

Walmart Passes Amazon as Most Shopped E-Grocer, At Least This Week

| Mike O'Brien

As e-grocery adoption continues to grow, with 60% saying they had bought online in the past month, up from 52% in March, Walmart has surpassed Amazon as the most-shopped online grocer, according to weekly data published by Coresight Research. There was also a dip in those reporting avoidance of public places and malls.

U.S. E-Grocery Sales Hit $7.2 Billion in June, Up 9% from May

| Mike O'Brien

E-grocery sales continued to spike upward in June, increasing 9% over May to $7.2 billion as pandemic-fueled consumer behavior followed a hockey stick pattern, according to a survey conducted by Brick Meets Click on behalf of Mercatus. 45.6 million households placed e-grocery orders in June, up from 43 million in May.

MCM CommerceChat Podcast

Will the Rush to E-Grocery Recede or Stick After the COVID-19 Crisis?

| Mike O'Brien

With states reopening for business, experts wonder how grocers will continue to adapt, and how ingrained online buying patterns will be. Jon Hauptmann, Senior Director of Retail Pricing and Analytics Solutions at Inmar Intelligence, discusses Inmar’s recent survey findings and what’s next in this MCM CommerceChat podcast.

Dark Stores Addressing Massive COVID-19 E-Grocery Demand

| Mike O'Brien

A handful of grocery retailers have flipped some locations into so-called dark stores to handle the crush of online orders, but it remains to be seen how widespread the practice will become or how much the trend will stick after the coronavirus threat dies down. Retailers include Amazon/Whole Foods, Kroger, Giant Eagle and Stop & Shop.

Grocery Buying Behavior Shifting Dramatically Due to COVID-19

| Mike O'Brien

Many more consumers are changing their buying habits in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, with 28% of e-grocery shoppers placing their first-ever order during March, according to a study from CPG research firm Acosta. And nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers reported changing their shopping habits by the end of March.

Coronavirus: Amazon, Whole Foods, Instacart Walkouts, Workers Sick

| Mike O'Brien

While ecommerce was initially thought to be a boon during the coronavirus crisis, with stores and malls in lockdown, execution is proving to be anything but as a growing chorus of drivers and facility associates complain about the danger of exposure. Workers at Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods staged protest walkouts.