The UK high street has already suffered a turbulent start to the year – as storms Dennis and Ciara wreaked havoc across the UK, shoppers avoided visiting stores and instead retreated indoors. Now, with Coronavirus at the forefront of everyone’s minds, UK retailers have reported a severe drop in sales with empty premises across the nation.
Retailers all over the world are now having to adapt to new and challenging circumstances – temporarily closing, reducing hours and, where possible, switching to remote working. Over the past couple of weeks, popular retailers including Primark, Nike, Urban Outfitters, Ikea, Selfridges and Abercrombie & Fitch made the decision to shut up shop across the UK and Ireland in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus, prioritising the health and safety of customers and employees.
Food and grocery retailers are predicted to benefit the most during the crisis, with an extraordinary rise in demand for non-perishable foods and sanitisation products in supermarkets. Extreme stock piling and panic buying even resulted in the UK’s leading supermarkets signing a joint letter appealing for customer restraint in the aisles.
Of course, it’s not all bad news for non-food retailers. With consumers boycotting public areas and staying at home, many Ecommerce retailers are noticing an upsurge in traffic. Last month, the online sale of non-food items rose by 3.6%, with a 1.8% decline in stores. A survey conducted by Econsultancy and Marketing Week showed 71% of UK marketers are expecting a significant increase in online shopping over the coming weeks.
For those Ecommerce retailers benefiting from an increase, it’s now a vital time to invest in business structure, in order to secure the supply chain and meet increased demand. Delays, disruptions or errors in the delivery of goods could potentially result in dissatisfied customers and a severe knock to brand reputation. And at a moment when online stores need to show their resilience in a time of need, meeting the demands of customers is paramount.
Contact OfficeTeam today on 0844 801 3740 to find out how we can help you create a tailored business solution through these challenging and uncertain times.