COVID is continuing to change the world as we know it- the $300 billion annual industry has single-handedly been one of the most immediately impacted. Reduced incomes has resulted in reduced consumer spending. As spending shifted to online, certain websites buckled under the traffic which has caused severe weaknesses in digital infrastructures. Whilst many online retailers have welcomed the surge in customers, physical stores without online platforms have struggled. Transportation limitations during the global pandemic have resulted in many shops lacking stock to sell despite high customer demand.
Retailers in general have had to deal with unprecedented times, enforcing social distancing within their stores, and ensuring they do not exceed their allocated store numbers. Whilst some retailers have had to close their doors, others have flourished in the pandemic. Grocery stores had to monitor panic buying, whilst they ran out of cleaning products, toilet paper and the basics. How do you plan what people will decide to hoard?
Retailers have had to plan how to run their businesses during a global pandemic- along with ensuring the safety of their employees. For the first time, retailers need to consider how their procedures in-store will impact the customer-store relationship.
Over the upcoming weeks, consumer and retail leaders globally will be discussing and sharing their views on how to cope moving forward. New practices and ideas will come into fruition. JobKeeper (stimulus payments received by almost seven million Australians) has reduced the impact on the economy.
Looking at statistics of consumer sales compared to last year, food good sales have increased by 22%, restaurants have decreased by 29%, alcohol sales increased by 25% from bottle shops (decreased by 71% in pubs), apparel was down 50% and personal care by 41%, household and furniture equipment increased by 35%.
The long-term social, economical and health impacts are of course- still unknown. Let’s hope for the best and hope 2021 is a better one for us all-
Love Akika xxx