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COVID-19 And the Future of The Retail Industry

Category: Retail


COVID-19 was certainly something not on anyone’s radar. It has resulted in millions of people losing their retail jobs and significant impacts that are surely going to result in long-term operational transformations. From places that sell retail display fixtures, clothing, and everything else in between, it is clear that this industry has taken a massive disruptive toll and needs to implement action plans to stay afloat post-pandemic.

 Impacts of COVID-19
Even before COVID-19, retailers have been in a constant battle with the rise of online shopping. In 2019, there were about 1.92 billion digital buyers, which accounted for 14.1% of all retail purchases worldwide. It is estimated that by the year 2023, that total will increase to 22%. Though this push was happening either way, with COVID-19, it turned this pace up a notch, and retailers have less time to plan for the digital changes.

 What Retailers Need to Do
When the nation opens back up, and the social distancing regulations have been lifted, people will still be nervous. You cannot “un-live” this experience. They are going to want to ensure their safety and only shop at a place that shows optimal precautions. Because of that reason, one of the first things that retailers will need to do, if they have not done so already, is to rearrange their store layout. This entails no more grab-and-go items since the virus can last up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic. Other alterations to maximize retail store survival include:

    • Respecting personal space and still keep the 6ft social distancing rule in-tact
    • Offer more items within the online store so people can still shop without worrying about their wellbeing.
    • Find creative, eye-catching ways to promote and showcase items online.
    • People are going to prefer outdoor shopping than indoor. With this, perhaps offer outdoor space that allows people to browse without having to go inside.
    • Limit the number of people allowed inside the store at once time.
    • Retailers will have to become much more transparent when it comes to their supply chain since customers will be more concerned about where the products are being produced.
    • Retailers must continue to put the health and safety of their employees and customers first. This includes continuing to implement PPE guidelines for employees and purchasing other protective equipment like our Sneeze Guard and Sanitation Fixture.  

It is inevitable that society and retail places that sell retail display fixtures, etc. are going to have lasting impacts from this pandemic. This was, and still is, a time of change, and it has pushed the innovation to utilize online resources. Though digital transformation has been on the rise organically, with 75% of U.S. retailers stating the need for it has increased since 2016, COVID-19 drove it to become a necessity. In some cases, it is the only option if retailers want to survive this time.

The history of retail has faced many hurdles throughout its existence, and it still managed to succeed because it reacted accordingly. With that same mindset and willingness to conform to this new post-pandemic norm, this industry will come out different, but hopefully still strong.

Showbest is here to help retailers make the transition back into their storefront easier. If you have any questions about retail fixtures or how Showbest can help, please feel free to reach out

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