The end of the third lockdown brings both a wave of optimism for the retail industry and several questions.
During the quarantine, now the third since the pandemic began in the U.K., all stores selling non-essential products were closed. On Monday, April 12, they started their business, and retailers expect an influx of customers. However, the industry is also facing some rather complex issues.
With shoppers staying home, their habits have altered in many ways, and now retailers have to take that factor into account and change their established practices. The growth of online shopping has led brands to focus more on their online presence and expand their direct and virtual interactions with customers in creative and creative ways. Stores are also looking for unconventional ways to give customers a sense of security while shopping.
An example of this new approach is Selfridges' planned opening of an outdoor fitness studio. Unusual methods include offering vegan snacks in designer Stella McCartney's store. Burberry encourages shoppers to make appointments in advance and provides a range of additional services for customers, including concierge service and free delivery. Customers in Mulberry's luxury stores will have the perk of personalizing their purchases, an option expected to draw customers to physical stores.
However, consumers may never fully return to physical stores after experiencing online shopping convenience can play a significant negative role. Suppose customers buy products from a particular brand online, and physical purchases account for only a tiny sales share. In that case, accordingly, the cost of such sales will increase, and prices in conventional stores may steadily creep up.