The retail business has been subjected to evolutionary pressure for years now, resulting in innovation on the part of landlords, storefronts, retail operations, service providers, and suppliers alike. Now more than ever before, retail will need to re-invent itself, again, if it has to weather this pandemic storm.
The long term social, economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 virus are still evolving. The situation is complex and a considered and well-managed response by retailers will have a major bearing on how well they ride the waves coming out of these troubled waters.
Retailers could see this an opportunity to out-perform their less agile competitors and build the foundations of a more sustainable, digital, customer-centric and nimble business for the future. The turnaround will also have to address the dreaded issue of debt restructuring since the unsustainable capital structures, high leverage, dismal cash flow with a weak operating performance outlook will drag several retailers closer to the grave.
There are 8 key areas where I feel retail executives should be focusing their attention in today's highly-fluid social, economic and health environment.