The New Landscape for Retail

May 19, 2020

The retail market is currently in turmoil. Many states are relaxing their stay-at-home orders, but many are not. Some states have laid out plans that slowly open up their economies again, while including a caveat that quarantine may be enforced again if there’s a spike in positive Covid-19 tests among residents.

In these uncertain times, it can be difficult to know how to move forward with your business, especially if you made drastic change to your business model to try to continue to stay open even when brick and mortar establishments shut down.

Here are some suggestions to help you determine the best way forward:

Don’t Forget What You’ve Learned

It is unlikely the U.S. economy will ever look exactly the same as it did before coronavirus. Make sure to keep track of the new innovations you’ve learned in your business that may continue to work, such as discounted shipping fees, curbside pickup, or online sales.

Stock up on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Even if you’re not considered an essential service, and even if you don’t have a physical storefront, invest in PPE: masks, hand sanitizer, gloves and medical gowns. Even if you or your employees are only handling products, processing orders and packing boxes, maintaining safe sanitization standards will make concerned consumers more likely to come to you for their purchases. This is especially true if you make sure to let them know via email or on your website that you’re taking measures for their safety. Be sure to include pictures that show your employees in their PPE gear.

Plan for Future Closures

Very few people saw the coronavirus coming; even those who may have had an inkling probably had no idea how the preventative measures would play out. Now is the time to plan for another closure if you can. Stock productivity technology that helps workers who work from home; try to save a larger percentage of your sales for an emergency fund. Figure out where to cut expenses and implement those changes now.

Find Out What’s Selling

Contact your suppliers and figure out what’s selling on the market today and consider investing in those products. Even if you’re not in a place to invest in them now, keep a list so you can add them to your inventory in the future. This will help you be prepared – and already have in-demand items in stock – if there’s another outbreak and workers are once again sent home to flatten the curve.