SberIndex: demand for groceries and medications climbing

Oct 22, 2020

SberIndex analysts claim that between October 12 and 18 consumer spending decreased significantly yet again, losing 2.8% since 2019. The four-week decline stands at 2.4% y-o-y.

The consumer activity index SberIndex.ru compiles keeps falling. Over the week, it dropped to 72.8 points from 73.9 earlier, which is yet another sign of consumers going into hibernation, SberIndex analysts say.

Consumers are changing their behavior as they did in April and May. Demand is tilting in favor of food items and steering away from service categories. The service sector decline accelerated and topped 20% y-o-y for the first time since summer. Demand is on the wane across the well-familiar categories like Airline Tickets (‒54.1% y-o-y), Hotels (‒66.4% y-o-y), Cafés and Restaurants (‒27.0% y-o-y), and Beauty Parlors (‒26.6% y-o-y). However, it’s been high in the Medications and Healthcare Products category for three weeks straight. Between October 12 and 18, it accelerated to 24.3% y-o-y vs +17.2% y-o-y seen a week before that.

Last week, the number of customers using public transport decreased slightly (–2.2%) compared to the previous week of October 5-11. The overall decrease in passenger flow compared to the baseline period before the lockdown and teleworking (September 21-27) is almost 10%. The demand for taxis and fuel also declined slightly.

The largest regions also saw fewer customers using transport. On average, the metric slid by 4.0% versus the week of October 5-11 and lost 7.9% versus the base week.

With the introduction of remote work and more COVID-19 cases, the number of visitors across cafes and restaurants has significantly decreased both in Russia in general and in Moscow in particular. SberIndexanalysts are seeing customers migrating online and placing more orders over the Internet.

The overall decline in Moscow compared to the base week (September 21-27) was 22%, with the bulk of it seen on October 12-18. In Russia, the decline reached 6%.

Also, due to a 3% decrease in AOVs, revenues of Moscow cafes and restaurants fell by almost one-quarter compared to the closing week of September.

In the last two weeks, the number of active outlets started shrinking again, in all segments. The number of operating non-food outlets has not recovered to the February level. It is now clear that the spending decline has been triggered by the introduction of additional measures to combat COVID-19 in several regions of Russia.

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When publishing the materials, a reference to SberIndex (www.sberindex.ru) is mandatory.

SberIndex.ru is an analytical website by Sberbank that illustrates how life in Russia has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, you can find three key indexes on the website, all of them based on anonymized data. These are an incidence model, the consumer activity index, and consumer activity changes. The all-new Business section features the evolution of gross payroll and change in small business activity. The website also has other studies, including all SberIndex lab ones (former SberData).