Openbravo’s Good News in Retail This Week: March 30
Could retail recover with revenge spending? home improvements spike and retailers accelerate hiring, re-purpose supply chains, and facilitate innovation to fight Coronavirus on several fronts…
Dear customers and friends,
As a blog, we want to support and inspire our customers and other retailers in the tough days ahead, so we will be publishing regular updates on some of the ways that retailers around the world are coping with the challenges of Coronavirus and fighting back.
It’s worth considering that people will remember the companies that did everything they could to help their communities, and that the sooner the community is healthy, the sooner stores can open back up for business.
Here are our first stories – stay safe, stay well, and stay tuned!
Could Deferred Buying Offset Dip in Revenue for Retailers?
Maybe you’re like me and you’ve already thought to yourself, “When this is all over, I am getting myself a new pair of shoes!” As it turns out, we are not alone. The “revenge spending” effect suggests that recently isolated consumers are keen to start spending again, particularly when it comes to favorite products or things they’ve missed out buying. Two months after lockdown, a renewal of spending in China offers retailers some cause for optimism and clues for how retailers may recover in the months to come. Retailers who hang in there may find customers are ready to spend more as the population bounces back.
Zara, H&M Repurpose Supply Chain to Tackle Global Shortage of PPEs
Major fast fashion retailers such as Inditex and H+M are also doing their bit in the battle against the virus. Inditex has donated and produced 300,000 masks on short notice, and it has offered the use of its vast supply chain network to continue producing personal protective equipment (PPEs) for Spain’s medical community as quickly as possible. H&M has also offered its supply chain to produce and distribute protective masks, gowns and gloves, putting to good use the company’s recent initiatives to step up sustainability with AI and third-party access to its supply chain and logistics network.
While large retailers consider repurposing their supply chain capabilities, even smaller retailers could use their surplus capabilities and infrastructure to help their local community fight coronavirus – and to keep their staff employed.
Sources: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-inditex-scrubs-idUSKBN2153EK; https://www.chargedretail.co.uk/2020/03/23/hm-re-purposes-supply-chain-to-produce-ppe-equipment-for-front-line-medical-staff/
Decathlon Allows 3D Designers to Adapt Snorkeling Masks for Oxygen Therapy
Italian design company Issinova has teamed up with Decathlon to design an emergency ventilator mask by adjusting Decathlon’s commercially available snorkeling mask with their 3D-printed Venturi valve. Notably, Decathlon’s low-cost snorkeling mask has also been adapted into other Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs). Not only will it help patients (and medical staff), but it proves that retailers like Decathlon can share their designs as well as their supply chain capabilities to accelerate innovation in emergency situations.
More Time for Home Improvements? Home & Gardening Sees Sales Spike
It seems that many homeowners are taking advantage of their quarantine to do some home improvements around the house, leading to a spike in sales. This week, several home and gardening retailers reported significant increases in sales, online as well as in stores. DIY, home & garden, and sports equipment are just some of the categories that are benefiting from having a large part of their customer base house-bound and with time on their hands. Will other hobby businesses like music equipment and art supplies also benefit from this sudden leisure and home-working boom?
Spanish Start-up Teams Up with Car Manufacturer to Produce Emergency Ventilators
Not far away for Openbravo’s Barcelona office, another start-up has also risen to the challenge to help fight the mounting health crisis in Spain by designing an automated breathing aid using a manual resuscitation bag and a readily-available car windscreen-wiper motor – a design that can be built even by non-experts. Spanish car manufacturer SEAT has agreed to start producing them in volume as soon as they have passed safety tests, leveraging its manufacturing and distribution capabilities to counteract the shortages already being felt in hospitals across Spain and beyond.
Retailers Experiencing Higher Demands Are Actually Hiring
Walmart announced last week that in addition to stepping up its employee bonuses, it will actually hire 150,000 to support its stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers. Target, CVS and Walgreens have made similar announcements. To get this done faster, Walmart has implemented a new hiring process that cuts down the evaluation period from two weeks to 24 hours. Wherever the new hires go, the company will also have to ensure its training is up to date with the latest protocols and that it easy to use so as to reduce on-boarding time and make sure employees can perform their jobs from Day 1.