The Great Global Lockdown fueled by COVID-19 will go down as a defining milestone in the history of the world. The pandemic has affected more than 200 countries and territories and has catalyzed sea changes in several aspect of our personal, professional and public life.
COVID-19 has left its indelible impact on almost all the businesses and the way they are transacting. The 24 trillion USD global retail industry is no exception.
All retail outlets including the high street stores and shopping malls across the globe got shuttered due to the pandemic imposed stay-at-home orders and lockdown restrictions, with exceptions being essential stores such as groceries and pharmacies. While certain segments of ecommerce serving the essentials have seen a surge in demand, the situation is not the same across the board.
Retail Outlets Need to Rise Up to the ‘New Normal’
COVID-19 threatens to derail the retail industry that has already been staring at declining sales and economic downswing since 2019. However, as Governments begin to ease restrictions across the globe, incrementally in phases, there are challenges and at the same time good opportunity for brick and mortar stores to make a confident comeback.
It is now mandatory and a prerequisite for retail stores to create a safe and hygienic environment for their staff as well as for the customers. It is of utmost importance, especially for the fashion, apparel and luxury goods retailers, who have been most affected, to create a comforting environment which encourages customers to return to the stores for experience as in the pre COVID-19 period.
With the added dimension of hygiene for a stress-free shopping experience, retailers’ initial focus must be on instilling confidence in customers by offering a safe in-store environment.