Accenture POV how COVID 19 affects retail provides basic guidance for retailers for surviving the COVID 19 Crisis and also presents new opportunities for the retail industry that might arise soon.
Accenture: How COVID-19 affects retail
COVID-19 is an unprecedented public health emergency that is rapidly transforming the way we all live our lives. It is also mandating significant changes to consumer behaviour, product demand, and retail, commerce and services availability.
“Retailers serving their communities on the frontline must put responsibility at the heart of their operations and act now to address the far-reaching implications of COVID-19 on their businesses”, says Domenico Conta, Accenture Head of Consumer Goods and Retail in CEE (Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary & Romania).
How retailers can respond – now
The first step of retail leaders in response is to ensure the health and safety of store employees and public. Embedding resilience in supply chains to reduce shock waves is critical step number two. The third is to enable an elastic digital workplace that supports employees in corporate headquarters and minimizes business disruption.
In the short term, activating a business continuity strategy will depend on one question: in this time of crisis, do customers consider your products and services a “need to have” or a “nice to have”?
Priorities for retailers of essential goods and services
Radically different lifestyles caused by self-isolation, social distancing and homeworking mean consumers will prioritize spending on the essentials: food, health, hygiene, household cleaning, as well as online entertainment and exercise services. Retailers in these essential categories need to meet unprecedented demand that exceeds even holiday levels. For these retailers, the key priorities are:
Challenges for retailers of non-essential goods and services
Retailers operating in segments like apparel, beauty, luxury goods, and home improvement face different challenges:
New opportunities for the retail industry
Surviving in today’s „never normal“ retail economy requires a leaner, more agile, and people-oriented operating model to support new ways of working. While the current situation is definitely challenging, it may bring a new impuls for retail:
„The retailers that are most adaptable to change will be best positioned to ride out the immediate challenges and build even stronger businesses. Now, more than ever, is important to react to customer needs and promote Responsible Retail.“ ends Domenico Conta.