The Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the retail sector unlike any other public health crisis in the 21st century. It cost millions of people their lives, jobs and loved ones. This highly infectious virus spread from person to person even if asymptomatic. We weren’t prepared for the changes that came. like many other sectors, the pandemic badly affected the retail sector. Retail stores across infected cities were the first to feel the burn. Only essential service providers stayed open during this time.
Temporary Closure of Non-essential Stores
Non-essential retailers sell electronics, fashion accessories, and anything that isn’t food or medicine. To limit person-to-person contact, the government imposed the first lockdown which forced all these non essential stores to shut down temporarily. This was to ensure the safety of customers, staff, and small business owners. After that, until the first wave, all stores stayed closed.
The lockdown of retail stores hit businesses and employees hard as it caused a recession in most parts of the world. Unemployment hit a new high as United States alone accounted for about 1.9 million unemployed workers. 1.1 million of these were only temporary layoffs while the rest lost their jobs permanently and had to search for alternative sources of income. For months retailers paid to keep and maintain their stores without any profit at all, but eventually even if retailers understood why the government had to lockdown, they couldn’t keep paying the bills.
Several business owners across the globe ran through their savings and were unable to reopen after the first lockdown ended. Some who managed to survive the first lockdown could not reopen their businesses after the second one.
After losing their primary sources of income, some entrepreneurs had no choice but to file for unemployment. Businesses also filed for bankruptcy in 2020 more than any other year since the great recession. Thankfully, the unemployment policy has been adjusted in light of the coronavirus pandemic. As long as you’re unable to make sufficient income as a direct result of the pandemic, you can apply for the current unemployment benefits in the US.
Retailers Of Essential Services Kept Their Doors Open
Sellers of food, medicines, toiletries, and other essential household items remained open throughout the pandemic. However, they had to make adjustments to protect their workers and customers. Many stores that didn’t have e-commerce websites created online stores where customers could place orders. They also initiated contactless doorstep delivery. With this kind of delivery, drivers have little to no contact with the customers. They knock, drop the order, stand at a distance, and wait for the customer to pick it up before they drive away.
Since the pandemic, automated delivery is another popular trend that’s taking over retail. Some retail companies have been using unmanned drones to deliver food items like pizza and chicken and even delivering medical supplies. These drones have an inbuilt GPS system to navigate their routes. These retail companies take their orders from clients online, insert their delivery details on the computer and send the drone to the venue. The drone driver will control it from their offices or home depending on the company.
Despite all the changes these retailers have made, the virus is still spreading like wildfire. At the time of writing, about 96.2 million people across the globe have had confirmed cases of the coronavirus. More than 2 million people have died. Coronavirus pandemic completely wiped out some families, children have become orphans, and parents have lost their children. To combat the pandemic, vaccines are now starting to circulate among many, but many questions still remain about their efficacy and safety.
While things are still uncertain, not everything should be left at the mercy of the present. The retail sector has been working in partnership with the tech industry to make things better for their customers. Covid 19 showed us that no matter how established or well grounded a business, they aren’t as future proof as they seem to be. There is a need to have a better plan both for today and uncertain tomorrow.
The first step isn’t as far fetched; it’s more about the things happening today! This is what’s happening: operations that run on a daily basis right now have no transparency. It’s difficult for managers to keep track of every schedule and progress of tasks. It all adds up to more delays; delays to clear confusion with tasks, delays to resolve issues, delays to know if issues are being resolved and the list goes on.
Wouldn’t it help to eliminate these delays? With PAZO, it’s possible without any extra tools! Everyone from head managers to the in-store staff just use their mobile to implement, execute and ensure tasks are completed in time. It’s a perfect tool for managers as they can get things done in real time and raise issues when needed. Our clients use it daily to bridge the gap between the head office and their in-store staff.
PAZO gives our client retailers more visibility, control over their operations. Today as a result, it is possible for them to adapt to the present and run daily retail tasks with less resources. Use PAZO if you too wish to take your retail operations to the next level.
If you’re looking for a job, you can pick up a good tech skill from the comfort of your home. With a few tech courses on websites like Bootcamprankings.com or Computersciencehero.com, you can increase your chances of getting a position in the retail sector or any sector for that matter.