Everything has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, but few industries have been more impacted than retail. We have already seen flagship companies like Cath Kidston enter administration because of the pandemic, so understandably people are worried about their businesses, large or small. The effects of the outbreak aren’t limited to the short-term, either. Inevitably, there are going to be long-term ramifications, too. The landscape looks rather bleak for the retail industry. However, it’s human nature to adapt to ensure our survival.
The world might have changed but that doesn’t mean it’s stopped moving, stopped progressing, stopped innovating. Retailers will survive this because there’s always going to be a demand for their goods. But they need to adapt and find new ways to deliver upon this demand. This article is going to be breaking down how the retail industry has changed and how companies should evolve to survive the coronavirus outbreak.
As we mentioned before, everything has been affected by coronavirus. This means a lot of people have been made redundant or seen a reduction in their income. As a result, they’re going to have less disposable income to purchase goods. Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done about this. Retailers must adapt their business models to match the trends of the coronavirus outbreak, or their companies will sink. For example, prices should be altered alongside deflation.
Decrease in Footfall
One of the biggest changes to the retail industry is that fewer people are going to be entering shops. Social distancing measures will reduce footfall as consumers will be unable to enter premises which look full. There’s also the issue that cities (where the retail industry is concentrated) tend to be the epicentre of outbreaks. As a result, people won’t want to shop on the high street anymore to protect themselves. This is devasting for retailers, however, there are ways they can adapt to these new obstacles. Firstly, they could begin by closing branches in city centres and moving to local areas, where people might feel less frightful. Secondly, they could introduce new regulations, such as encouraging shoppers to enter alone or cleaning door handles regularly. Lastly, retailers should concentrate on improving their online shopping platform. This leads us to our next point.
Online VS Highstreet
Online shopping has seen an extortionate increase in sales since lockdown began in March, proving that retail isn’t a dead industry and still holds a lot of promise and prospect. However, this does mean that companies are going to need to shift their operations onto online platforms to stand a chance against their competitors. But how might they go about doing this? For starters, retailers should focus on optimising their website and social media marketing to attract more consumers. Next, they need to prepare their stock for shipping, which is where storage boxes can come in handy. Lastly, in tandem with the previous step, they must consider the logistics behind delivery-making. By embracing the digital era and transitioning onto online platforms, retailers can survive the pandemic.
Public transport will also affect the retail landscape. Not only are fewer customers going to want to travel to the high street, but also fewer employees. If their staff can’t get to work safely, retailers have got a big problem on their hands. New transport systems are going to need to be sorted out in organisations to overcome this, such as car shares.
It should be obvious how the retail industry has been impacted by the pandemic. Retailers mustn’t get stuck in their old ways; they need to develop to meet the demands of the new age.