Montreal-based grocery chain Metro saw an increase $125 million worth of sales in the first two weeks of March alone, the company reported.
Figures from the first quarter show an 25 per cent increase in same-store (stores that have been open longer than a year) sales during the four weeks leading up to April 11, compared to the same time last year.
The sudden increase is largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic as shoppers raced to stock up on groceries during the first two weeks of March, and later continuing to purchase more groceries for at-home cooking while restaurants around the country remain closed.
The company, Metro Inc., which owns Metro, Food Basics, Super C and the Jean Coutu pharmacy chain, reported that while sales have gone up, grocery costs have increased, such as hiring more staff, introducing new cleaning measures and implementing safety precautions like protective gear and plexiglass shields.
“The crisis related to COVID-19 is unprecedented and has solicited all our resources to ensure the safety of our employees and customers, the resilience of our supply chain and our ability to maintain store operations,” said Metro CEO Eric La Flèche in a statement.
Pharmacy sales, however, are down, largely due to restrictions on each customer’s access to stores. This has resulted in a 9 per cent decrease in the pharmacy department since this time last year.