COVID-19 Is Affecting Your Retail Operations

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COVID-19 Is Affecting Your Retail Operations

By Abby Kleckler - 03/23/2020
How COVID-19 Is Affecting Your Operations

Retail Leader wanted to hear how your operations are being impacted by the coronavirus, so we asked, and you answered a four-question survey between March 18 and March 22. Retailers ran the gamut from bookstores to garden centers and hardware stores to supermarkets. 

More than 56% of respondents said they have seen a negative impact on sales due to COVID-19, while 38% of retailers — some most notably in the grocery industry — reported a significant uptick in sales. 

As stay-at-home orders are in place in some states such as Illinois, New York, California and Ohio, but not in others, the ability for nonessential retailers to remain open varies.

Thirty percent said they have not closed their doors or limited operations, but the other 70% have had to do so. Of that 70%, 33% noted maintaining personalized customer relationships and service is the most challenging aspect. An additional 23% are struggling to support increased demand for store-level delivery. 

A variety of workforce management challenges have also arisen due to the coronavirus. Thirty-eight percent of respondents say their largest issue is preventing spread of the virus among the workforce, while 30% noted that offering payment, financial support and other services to employees who are temporarily displaced from their jobs is the greatest challenge.

A majority of retailers, 59%, have had some fulfillment issues due to COVID-19 such as an inability to keep store shelves stocked, struggling to keep up with a surge of online orders, certain products sold out or unavailable in the supply chain, or a disruption in flow of goods sourced outside the United States. 

Retail Leader conducted the survey online of 39 retailers. 

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