There may be emerging supply chain concerns as countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in relation to transport and logistics. Some businesses are already finding that some suppliers have gone or are unable to supply the levels that they need, so they’re having to find new suppliers. Others need to find new sources of supply or storage facilities as certain countries remain locked down, so there may be a need to look at new and additional supply routes.
Retailers need to understand their supply base and where there might be issues and/or shortages. They should also look at their current suppliers and assess their relative levels of health, including staffing levels, as well as the cities and countries that they are located in. Do you have enough of a supply base to meet the demand you may see over the coming months?
It’s essential to think through any modelling carefully and plan for slower, longer-term return to normal. It’s also critical to identify those consumers that are looking to spend, as well as those that will remain cautious.
For many retailers, an easy win is to focus on and strengthen online offerings. We saw when China was in lockdown, that online spend initially dropped but then picked back up and remains significant. Retailers should look to improve any limitations in their online offerings, at the same time as thinking about how to maximise online usage now and as they move forward. Flexible stock and a virtual stock pool may be two areas to think through now.