Brick-and-Mortar Retail Losing CBD Sales to E-Commerce?

Coronavirus pandemic may be diverting consumers to online supply
Photograph: Shutterstock

CHICAGO — While convenience stores have remained open during the coronavirus pandemic, the emerging category of cannabidiol (CBD) products at least for brick-and-mortar retailers may be taking a hit, with online sellers benefiting the most, reported Brightfield Group.

CBD sales across all brick-and-mortar retail is falling by as much as 30%, the Chicago-based data research firm said. At the same time, online sales of the CBD category appear to be stronger, according to Bethany Gomez, managing director of Brightfield Group.

For the convenience channel specifically, Gomez said retailers may encounter challenges with the CBD product category because many c-store shoppers buy on impulse. Unfortunately, a CBD product purchase, which tends to be a higher ring, may not fall into that category.

Prior to the pandemic, CBD products had been steadily growing as a category for c-store operators. In CSP’s 2020 Category Management Handbook, c-stores represent 56% of the approximately $125 million in hemp and CBD product sales in markets measured by Chicago-based research firm IRI. The c-store channel rang up $70.8 million in CBD product sales in 2019.

Here’s what else made headlines in the CBD space:

Retail sales slip as consumers buy more online

Regulatory outlook remains gray due to FDA uncertainty and mixed enforcement messages

Two companies issued letters for allegedly saying products could treat addictions

Retailers test the growth potential of cannabidiol products but remain cautious

C-stores commanded the highest share of dollar sales

Supply chain buckling as demand rises during pandemic

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