The Playbook for a Smart Retail Reopening

Related Expertise: Retail Industry

The Playbook for a Smart Retail Reopening

By Chris BiggsDewang ShavdiaHenry FovargueAmeya Avasare, and Gad Lewinsohn

As regions begin to relax the lockdowns introduced in response to COVID-19, retailers face a formidable challenge: reopening stores in a way that is financially prudent and safe for employees and customers.

To do that, retailers must reconsider every aspect of their operations and cost structure to counter lower sales resulting from consumers reluctant to shop in stores and from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. They must rethink their assortment and channel strategy to match shifts in consumer preferences and behaviors that arose in reaction to the pandemic but are likely to continue or even accelerate after the coronavirus is under control. Most importantly, they must implement safety protocols to protect staff and customers while COVID-19 remains in the community.

Accomplishing all of this will be no small feat—and how retailers reopen could make the difference between regaining profitability and enduring even greater financial instability.

We believe that companies must develop a holistic reopening plan built on analyzing data on current trends as well as on past sales and store performance. They must evaluate a range of factors and possible future scenarios to determine which stores to reopen and when. And they must commit to staying nimble, experimenting, and adapting their strategy to reflect what they learn.

If retailers can do all of this, they can use this period of recovery to position their businesses for short-term and future success.

Explore more of our insights on how retailers should reopen in the slideshow below.

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The Playbook for a Smart Retail Reopening