The world is a different place than it was just a month ago. As companies try to maintain their business and stay afloat, many are wondering about the long-term impact of coronavirus on the retail and ecommerce industry. Here are some ways the dynamics of retail and services may be impacted in near term and in the years to come.
Similar to XPO Logistics’ decision to postpone its exploration of divesting assets due to current market uncertainty caused by coronavirus, a bankruptcy court judge has granted a 45-day stay on the Chapter 11 filing of sporting goods retailer Modell’s due to the ongoing crisis and its impact on closing sales.
The impacts of the coronavirus spread are being felt everywhere across retail and ecommerce, with first stores and now ecommerce operations shut down to comply with government orders, and warehouse workers and drivers testing positive, forcing facilities to close so they can be scrubbed and restarted.
The coronavirus outbreak is continuing to wreak havoc on retail, with the impact going beyond store shutdowns to online business being shuttered. Companies that closed their ecommerce operations in recent days include fashion brands Reformation, Marysia and The Frankie Shop, and retailers TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods.
The National Retail Federation and the International Council of Shopping Centers are asking the Trump administration and the federal government for relief for members who are being hard hit by the coronavirus crisis, much as are other industries such as airlines and hospitality, as mall, store and restaurant closures grow.
Ulta Beauty saw ecommerce sales increase 20% to 30% during fiscal 2019 ending Feb. 1, 2020, aided by a store pickup rollout chain-wide, while also taking steps in store to address the growing coronavirus threat. Ulta also reduced hours of operation, is temporary closing some stores and discontinuing hair services in stores.
After spending years trying to shed its “coat factory” branding – think Boston Market on the fast casual side – Burlington Stores is shedding something else: ecommerce. The CEO said ecommerce represents just 0.5% of total sales and doesn’t leverage the company’s “treasure hunt” draw for shoppers, giving stores a huge advantage.
At Modell’s Sporting Goods it’s game day, every day. So says the Facebook page banner video, but Chapter 11 bankruptcy day is looming for the nation’s oldest family-owned and operated sporting goods retailer. CEO Mitch Modell confirmed the retailer stopped searching for a rescue investor, and a bankruptcy filing is imminent.
Target CEO Brian Cornell piled on superlatives when discussing Q4 and 2019 results, including six consecutive years of 25%+ growth in ecommerce sales. Same-day (order pickup, drive up and Shipt delivery) accounted for more than 80% of Target’s Q4 comparable digital sales growth of 20%, compared to 1.5% overall comp growth.
In this latest MCM CommerceChat podcast, we spoke with Willis Weirich, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain and Operations at Neiman Marcus, about how the customer experience informs supply channel priorities. Willis is one of our keynote speakers on this subject at Ecommerce Operations Summit 2020, April 14-16 in Orlando, FL.