Quarantine and its Impact on Retail

Between the end of February 2020 and Easter Week, visits for shopping or recreational activities fell between 40% and 90% in Central American countries, with Panama recording the largest drop and Nicaragua the smallest.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Since the effects of the crisis generated by the spread of the covid-19 in Central America began to be felt, and more specifically, since mobility restriction measures were tightened, visits to shops in Central American countries have fallen dramatically.

According to data from Google included in the "Information System for the Impact Analysis of Covid-19 on Business", prepared by the Trade Intelligence Unit of CentralAmericaData, in Nicaragua, where isolation and mobility restriction measures have been practically non-existent, a 44% reduction in physical visits to points of sale has been reported in the aforementioned period.

You may be interested in: "Where are my clients now and how do I reach them?"

On the other extremity is Panama, where the government has decided to establish much stricter quarantine measures since the beginning of the crisis. There, businesses have lost almost 90% of visits since the end of February until now.

See: "Coronavirus and its Impact on Business"

In Costa Rica, the reported reduction is almost 80%, similar to that of El Salvador, which registered a 78% decrease in visits to retail outlets. In Guatemala and Honduras, retail businesses have lost 67% and 83% of visits, respectively.

What has happened in supermarkets and pharmacies?

These channels are part of the small group of sales points that, with greater or lesser restrictions on opening hours and capacity, have been able to remain in operation.

The figures show that by the end of Easter Week, supermarkets and pharmacies in Costa Rica had lost half of the visits they received in February, while in Guatemala, 44% have been lost. In El Salvador, these businesses registered a 57% drop in visits, in Panama 68%, in Honduras 66%, and in Nicaragua just 26%.

What is the outlook for post-quarantine consumption in the countries of the region?

Using a demand-income sensitivity model developed by the Trade Intelligence Unit of CentralAmericaData, it is possible to project the variations in household demand for different goods and services as the most critical phases of the spread of the covid-19 are overcome and restrictive measures are relaxed in each of the countries.

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More on this topic

Consumers Return to Supermarkets

September 2020

As part of the gradual reopening of commercial activities, an increase in the number of people who have moved to locations identified as supermarkets or pharmacies was reported in Central American countries during August.

Due to the quarantines decreed by the covid-19 outbreak, in mid-April the concentration of people in residential areas of cities reached its highest level, but in recent months this trend has been reversed and consumers have visited more stores. During August, the process of returning to supermarkets accelerated in most markets.

Consumers Move Away from Supermarkets Again

July 2020

Until the beginning of June, Central American countries reported a rise in the number of people who moved to locations identified as supermarkets or pharmacies, however, in recent weeks the trend was reversed.

According to data from Google incorporated into the "System for monitoring markets and the economic situation in Central American countries", developed by the Trade Intelligence Unit of CentralAmericaData, in Panama, where due to the spread of covid-19 the measures of isolation and restriction of mobility have begun to harden in some areas, it has become evident that as of June 24th the visits to establishments identified as supermarkets or pharmacies have fallen.

Consumers Begin to Return to Supermarkets

June 2020

In recent weeks, Central American countries have reported an increase in the number of people who have moved to locations identified as supermarkets or pharmacies.

Due to the quarantines decreed by the governments of the region because of the covid-19 outbreak, in mid-April the concentration of people in residential areas of the cities registered its maximum level, but in the last weeks this trend has started to reverse, as consumers have visited more shops.

Visits to Quarantined Shops: Is the Trend Reversed?

April 2020

Between February 2020 and Easter Week, visits to shops decreased between 40% and 90% in Central American countries, but since April 13 a change in the trend has been observed, reflecting a greater movement of people to shops and other businesses.

According to the "Information System for the Impact Analysis of Covid-19 on Business", prepared by the Trade Intelligence Unit of CentralAmericaData, Costa Rica is the country with the most pronounced change in trend, since as of April 12th the reported drop in physical visits to stores was 79%, while on April 17th the reported reduction was 57% from the levels prior to the health crisis.

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BMC Group

Organization that operates in El Salvador.
Phone: (503) 2487 4500

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