The governors of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and many other states have taken precautionary steps by closing casinos, movie theaters, gyms and limiting restaurants and bars to takeout and delivery options only. Consumer behavior shifts, low inventory, supply chain issues and store closings are impacting retailers across all industries.
While retailers must put the safety and well-being of their employees and customers above all else, below are some items to consider admist the challenge of social distancing:
If you have stopped payroll, you should help communicate alternatives to employees and provide this information to them:
It is time for all of us to be socially responsible, and as business owners, you need to keep informed on local assistance communications as well as your local and Federal government communications to help your business and your employees the best ways possible.
As we are seeing in grocery stores, Target, Wal-Mart and the like, keeping up with supply is a challenge during COVID-19. Consumers have now shifted their behavior buying with health in mind. Hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, paper goods, masks and various grocery items have quickly been purchased by consumers so that they may comply with social distancing, working from home and care for their families.
Customers are purchasing mass quantities of goods, leaving retailers struggling to keep up. To sustain the demand, many grocers and retailers are limiting the quantity of health-related items a customer can purchase.
Retailers need to also work with their suppliers to replenish items promptly. It is time to focus on critical goods such as produce, health care items, packaged goods etc. Make sure to monitor stock inventory daily and increase stock for high demand items. If possible, try to see if your supplier will deliver directly to your store rather than a distribution center as many centers now have become understaffed, causing delays.
With many businesses forced to close their doors for an undetermined amount of time, profits will suffer greatly. Businesses need to take proactive steps to save cash where they can:
Uncertainty behind the virus still lies ahead. Realistically, normal business operations will not happen immediately. It will take time and preparation. Use this time to review market data, supply chain logistics, buying strategies and business operations with your leadership team to create a plan for the next major impact or recession.
Please utilize Withum’s COVID-19 resource center for tips on how your business can cope and recover from this pandemic. Reach out to our Retail Group for more information on how Withum can help your business during this difficult time.