May 13, 2022
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
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.