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The current situation has taught us a lesson that a crisis can come in any shape and at any time, and if one is not prepared in advance will face dire consequences. The digital medium has shaped the buying preference of consumers.
By: Harkirat Singh, Managing Director Aero Club
       (The Maker of Woodland & Woods)

Strategy amid pandemic

The outbreak of COVID-19 has already changed the way businesses (across sectors) function. Every industry has been hit hard especially the non-essential ones in which we fall and thus, the demand certainly fell like anything in those though / lock-down times. Retailers and department stores were closed during the pandemic and thus, revenue from physical stores came to a halt.

On demand side too, closed schools, colleges and offices led to remote working from home. Cancelled events had diminished consumers’ need for new clothing and footwear, causing further challenges for retailers. Now with time, the Clothing and Footwear Retail industry is preparing for a world where old norms are reframed. Companies are re-strategizing and re- structuring their internal models and business plans so that they canget business back on track efficiently, like in the pre-covid era. The brands are now focusing more and introducing innovative and productive ways to be better prepared in times of a crisis like this. The priority of most businesses is how to retain their customer base by adapting to new strategies that will be here to stay in a post COVID world.

Health and Safety of employees

Almost every organization has had to prioritize the health and safety of their employees and customers over everything else. Various health helplines have been generated to monitor on real time basis. Warehouses, stores, office premises and even merchandize (across categories / offerings) are being sanitized on a regular basis. Separate teams are made to train front-end and back-end staff on adopting all necessary safety measures so that no compromise is made. Going forward, this will be the new norm of providing a safe and healthy environment for both customers in stores as well as employees.

Shopping on e-commerce platforms is the new norm, there is rise in offline stores going online to get back their usual sales. With this change in preferences, we plan to further strengthen our omni- channel strategy so that we can move (locally blocked) store stocks while being able to service the customer in the least possible time.

Change in Consumer Buying behavior
The current situation has taught us a lesson that a crisis can come in any shape and at any time, and if one is not prepared in advance will face dire consequences. The digital medium has shaped the buying preference of consumers. Shopping on e-commerce platforms is the new norm, there is rise in offline stores going online to get back their usual sales. With this change in preferences, we plan to further strengthen our omni-channel strategy so that we can move (locally blocked) store stocks while being able to service the customer in the least possible time. Another trend that is coming up is foot care accessories such as shoe sprays which will help in footcare and maintaining foot hygiene. This demand of customers will stem from their need for hygiene and cleanliness in everything they purchase.

Transportation of products

Imports and exports have been disrupted for many brands during the lockdown, now the companies are already working on strategies to maximize sourcing of products from within India. This will reduce transportation, logistics and other related costs to a large extent. Though the pandemic has brought a certain fear, uncertainly and increased regard for health, it has also taught us to the important lessons of crisis and to work on new strategies to gain back the profits.