The retail sector took a major hit during the pandemic. According to the ‘UAE Retail Response on Covid-19’ survey, 75% of businesses reported a negative impact on their operations and a further 12%, weren’t expecting business recovery. Brick-and-mortar retail saw an increase in online competition and a drastic decrease in sales and the gap is predicted to widen further during the partial lockdown.
Furloughs and job losses were a result of the pandemic and purchase behaviour changed too, which means actual retail stores are no longer the place for ‘recreational customers’.
What does this mean for the brands that have invested in visual merchandising and impulse buys by the exits? Is browsing a thing of the past now because of social distancing and hygiene requirements? What measures are being taken to ease the aftershocks of the pandemic?
As the overall shift to digital takes place, tremendous opportunities are being developed for e-retail, including the logistics and delivery divisions that have been busier than ever. But are we sure this is a fair game? How do the brands that do not have a strong online presence, make their mark in a post-Covid world?
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