The realignment of purchasing priorities, personal lifestyles, and working practices forced on us all by the COVID-19 pandemic may represent a seismic shift in the retail industry. Consumer adoption of technology-enabled commerce is likely to deepen and broaden permanently, even in segments like grocery which have to date resisted the large-scale migration from stores to online seen elsewhere. Values-driven buying behavior accelerated by this crisis will become the norm. The appetite for digitally enabled retail models will grow.
The retailers that are most adaptable to change will be best positioned to ride out the immediate challenges and build stronger, more customer-centered businesses. Retailers with resilient operations and an adaptable ecosystem will be rewarded. This, more than ever, is a time for Responsible Retail. That means demonstrating responsibility to consumers, to employees, to partners, and to communities as societies around the world manage this health and humanitarian emergency.