2 Examples of What Post-COVID Retail Will Look Like:
Online sales grew nearly 50% at the peak of the pandemic as consumers stayed home, but continue to online shop. Among millions of consumers, it hadn’t been common to buy certain products (such as groceries) online. With the current Pandemic, things have shifted tremendously now due to majority of consumers solely depending on doing all their shopping online. For example, Walmart’s sales reportedly jumped 20% in March as people stocked up on essentials, further boosted by a 190% increase in monthly downloads of its online grocery app. Other retailers such as Lululemon Athletica have even reopened a few North American stores, not to serve walk-in customers, but to use inventory to fill online orders more quickly. Digital sales will not only continue to grow for traditional online retail products like clothing, but untraditional online retail products like groceries and fitness. Retailers need to adjust their products and services to accommodate consumers’ behaviors during this Pandemic.
Are Bigger Stores Seen as Better?
Large corporations are re-analyzing where their revenue is really coming from. With the current Pandemic resulting with harsh economic conditions and cautious consumer spending habits, many large retailers (such as J.Crew) have experienced the reality first hand. The question for parent companies is shifting from “which stores or subsidiary brands do we close” to “which ones do we fight to keep open.” For years, bigger was seen as better, and for some of the sector’s winners (including Amazon and Walmart), that remains the case. Now given the current Pandemic, stores are starting to seize the opportunity to shrink their footprints. For instance, Gap said it has “undertaken a strategic review of its real estate portfolio to further advance its long-term strategic priorities that include a smaller fleet. Not surprisingly, this even seems to target its leading Gap and Banana Republic locations.
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