Retailers face different challenges in this recession than in the great financial crisis of 2008. In the previous recession, innovative retailers – especially those who invested in an omnichannel platform – made it through the downturn. Today retailers adhere to strict government restrictions and health and safety regulations. In many cases, retailers need to make customers feel safe so that they can shop in-store and shop comfortably.
“Retail stores today face a completely different reality. To own and operate a retail business, consumers, visitors, and team members must be protected from the transmission of coronavirus while maintaining revenue. " Anthony Sanchez, newly appointed Design Director at Needle architecture + planningtells GlobeSt.com. "This is not just about providing this safe environment, it means making everyone feel safe so that they will be comfortable when they go into this business and get them involved with their brand."
In the last recession, retailers had to adapt to new consumer needs and new technologies. "The retailers who have survived the post-great recession era have been flexible, innovative and able to adapt to the new demands of consumers who want to shop virtually anywhere and have them quickly to hand." says Sanchez. "While people still wanted to be able to visit brick and mortar stores, it became more for browsing and shopping, either alone or with friends and family, or because they needed the items right away."
This new demand sparked the omnichannel retail trend that has largely dominated retail for this last cycle. “Smart retailers have developed a seamless shopping experience between their brick and mortar stores and online shopping to cement their brand identity, provide excellent customer service, while creating beautiful and interesting spaces for people to meet, socialize, and shop can, ”says Sanchez.
Innovation looks different today. Strategies like roadside collection and store layouts that encourage social distancing are standard, but they're not necessarily conducive to the retail shopping experience. Yet many retailers are applying new guidelines to adapt. “Many retailers have adopted new customer care methods and new health and safety practices, such as: B. Contactless pick-up at the roadside in shopping centers, putting up door signs for mask requirements, reconfiguring shop layouts to prevent gatherings and overcrowding, closing or minimizing the use of changing rooms and seating areas, installing floor markings to control shop traffic and Reminding people of social distance and installing plexiglass between employees and customers at the point of purchase. Hand sanitizer has become ubiquitous at store entrances and checkouts, and many retailers even close early or late so team members can sanitize stores more frequently. "