What Retailers Need to Consider to Come Out Ahead from Times of Uncertainty
During times of distress, nothing brings comfort like returning to basics and simplicity. As the impacts of the COVID-19 continue to evolve, consumers are faced with unprecedented disruptions to these basics while retailers are scrambling to understand impacts on their supply chain. The one constant, though, in all the chaos: retailers remain focused on servicing customers and keeping their employees working.
How COVID-19 Will Impact Softline Retailers
Softline retailers have been battling store closures and traffic declines in malls for several years. They have made moves to shift toward experiential retailers. They have deployed omni-channel capabilities like buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) and buy online return in store (BORIS) to drive traffic and deliver a seamless experience for customers. Ultimately, softline retailers were just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel… until COVID-19 coronavirus arrived.
How COVID-19 is Shifting Supply Chains
From the outside, it does seem like things are beyond control. Food/grocery retailers are seeing unprecedented demand for many items, most notably paper, and sanitizing products, canned goods, and products with a longer shelf life. But what are we seeing? If we step back and look at it from the inside, i.e., the overall supply chain, things begin to make more sense. After all, are people using more toilet paper, or eating three times as much food than they normally do? It’s not about the shortage, it’s about how quickly retailers can stock shelves when masses of people clear them out far quicker than average.