Retail after Coronavirus? More online activities and strong Christmas

Precautions to prevent further spread of coronavirus are slowly being released. Life seems to be returning to normal. But it is already clear that the economic consequences of the crisis we have experienced in recent weeks will be long-lasting and will affect most sectors. How will Covid-19 affect the future of the retail environment?

The retail sector is currently going through a restart. Digitization and virtuality are experiencing a renaissance caused by the temporary shutdown of bricks and mortar stores in most segments. The options for customers were limited and they started looking for another way of shopping. Even those who have resisted so far have found it on the Internet and in e-shops. We can expect that this sales channel will suddenly have a much larger share in retail than before.

We can expect an increase in the number of services that customers will use digitally. It is not just about shopping. For example, it will be common for us to learn to play the piano online or practice at home while the coach supervises us through a video call or application.

We are sure that people will develop new shopping habits and will not get back to many of the original ones. Customers will once again pay more attention to the price, which will become a key criterion when shopping in the next period. Demand for non-essential products, such as fashion, cars, luxury goods, will decrease.

Retailers will have to respond adequately to all these changes. Likewise, a change of approach will affect point-of-sale promotion. If they defend their contribution, there will be space for more expensive creative solutions. However, the crisis of 2009 showed us that the demand will be mainly the low price of P.O.S. realizations and their maximum efficiency. Therefore, it will be necessary to invest in creativity to cover suitably and cheaply the changing demand.

Unfortunately, many companies do not reflect this need. In the best case, they partially consider investments, but their demanding approval processes often completely stop these considerations. Such companies are just waiting for market signals and this approach does not bring anything. They will come out of the crisis with the biggest losses. Even worse are doing companies which totally stopped any sales promotion to save their own costs. Their visibility on the market will decrease; quite possibly they will disappear completely. Their approach will also have a negative impact on suppliers of P.O.P. solutions, which could lead to a significant cooling of the local market. This can then be used by foreign manufacturers of P.O.P. materials offering cheaper solutions.

We believe that P.O.P. support for some segments that are currently suffering will increase. An example is the hotel and restaurant industry. In terms of seasonality, we believe that this year’s “back to school” and Christmas seasons will compensate for the recent Easter, which was severely limited in terms of communication. Such opportunities are being sought by companies that are not afraid of the current situation and are aware that they need to support their activities right now. Such companies are admirable and others should take them as an example. They are following procedures proven by previous crises, they think proactively and invest smartly.

So far, it is difficult to estimate whether we will have more complicated months, or a significantly longer period, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Above all, also with regard to our economic ties to the heavily affected markets west of us, the disability of which will gradually be reflected in what is happening in our country. In any case, the most sensible thing is to start preparations immediately. Let’s not wait for anything and start focusing on the post-crisis period right now. The best medicine is honest good work, perseverance and proactivity.

Daniel Jesenský and Marek Končitík, Dago

OZVĚTE SE, POMŮŽEME I VÁM S PODPOROU PRODEJE A BUDOVÁNÍM ZNAČKY

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