Kroger Co. sales surged about 30 per cent in March as consumers cleared off shelves in the U.S. in preparation for a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and had borrowed $1 billion to boost liquidity, the grocer said.
The supermarket chain also maintained its forecast for the year, despite the boost in sales and said it was being conservative about expectations citing a fluid environment caused by the outbreak.
Several retailers have withdrawn their projections due to the virus-related uncertainty.
"It is too early to speculate what will emerge as the 'new normal' in food consumption at home or what the impact on sales will be in future periods," Kroger said.
The pandemic has led to panic buying, with several people thronging stores to stock up on canned foods and everyday essentials.
"After experiencing strong sales in February, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a significantly greater lift in sales across both physical retail stores and digital channels in March," Rodney McMullen, CEO said in a statement.
He said that sales in March tapered towards the end of the month but remained higher than normal as customers adjusted to the new dining, work and travel restrictions.