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Preparing for the pandemic to lift: Steps to ready your retail business

It looks like we might be coming out of the pandemic. Slowly, restrictions will be easing, and hopefully, something of the usual high-street will be returning. 

This may seem a long way off, but the sooner you can prepare, the more ready your retail business will be. 

A new survey suggests 70% of consumers plan a significant return to the high street post-pandemic. Making sure to capitalise on this demand is essential, especially considering the losses many retail stores have faced over the past year. 

To make the most of the pandemic lifting, ensure you are ready to put these practices into place for your retail business.

Know the COVID regulations, and comply with them

Though the danger the pandemic brings seems to be lifting with the vaccine rollout, many suggest COVID-19 is something we’ll have to learn to live with. It’s the “new normal,” as we’re all so tired of hearing. 

Because of this, you must make sure your workplace is COVID compliant in case any unwanted spikes hit unexpectedly. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t know what’s just around the corner. 

Even if restrictions lift completely, keeping some of the regulations in place could help you out in the long run. 

Increase marketing to attract specific demographics

The pandemic has instilled new behaviours in all of us. The consumer is no different. One behaviour change the pandemic has brought is the turn to e-commerce. This behaviour is particularly damaging to retail and the high-street as it is potentially long-term. 

Unable to enter physical shops, online shopping showed the consumer ease-of-access, quick delivery times, and lower prices. Though many are hoping to get back to the high-street, is this desire just novelty? Is it a desire to feel like they did pre-pandemic? Once this novelty wears off, will they turn back to the easier online shopping of e-commerce?

This danger is particularly prevalent within baby boomers and Gen-Z. In early April, a survey showed that apparel executives expect around a 13% increase in online shopping. 

Targeting your marketing towards these two risk groups should hope to reduce the loss you will likely see in these areas. 

Prepare stock by judging demand

Making predictions of initial demand through surveys and market research can help you to prepare. Being over or under-stocked at this volatile time could either halt your profits or stifle your prospects. 

By making sure you have around the correct amount of stock, you won’t suffer surpluses or shortages. This tip is especially crucial for those working in food and drink retail due to spoils and the cost of keeping food warm or cold. 

The better you prepare, the more success you’ll see

The extent to which businesses can prepare for anything right now is limited. But putting practices into place can only serve to help you in the long term. With consumers planning to return to the high street, retail businesses must ensure this is a long-term behaviour.