Axios Pro: Retail Deals
May 13, 2022
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Happy Friday, Retail readers!

Situational awareness: Yesterday, at Houlihan Lokey's annual consumer, food and retail conference in New York City, a number of executives said that consumers so far are accepting price hikes, with no pushback.

1 big thing: Delivery deserts

An illustration of a bag of groceries covered by a giant cursor all against a yellow background.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios Visuals

Internet-based food delivery services have the potential to transform the lives of people who live in "food deserts" — but only if broadband becomes more widely available there, according to a new Brookings Institution report.

Why it matters: This newsletter has featured several fast-growing companies raising money and growing (inorganically) in this space, among them Instacart, which filed its preliminary IPO papers this week.

Of note: As our Axios colleague Joann Muller reports, access to healthy food is closely tied to economic security and public health.

  • And while lots of low-income neighborhoods don't have great local supermarkets, they do have access to the four most prominent food delivery platforms: AmazonFresh/Whole Foods, Instacart, Uber Eats and Walmart.

What's happening: Brookings found that 93% of Americans have access to "rapidly-delivered fresh groceries or prepared foods" through at least one of the four providers, including 90% of food desert residents.

  • But the services — which could be life-changing — tend to be costly.
  • And without reliable broadband service and the skills and devices to order food online, many people are unable to use them.

"Delivery services are not a panacea," Adie Tomer, a senior fellow at Brookings Metro, tells Axios.

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