As a small business, being experts in the Retail interiors sector means we are all looking hard at how we come out of this crisis. The fortunate unusual aspect here is that we are all in the same position. Retailers must “reinvent” themselves or face failure. At Impulse, our existence has been based, since formation in 2005, on being a UK manufacturer, providing an agile and locally cost-effective solution.
This crisis has proven that everyone is too reliant on Far East manufacture, and have too easily accepted the cheaper prices and lower quality of service.
With a predicted loss of 1.9m incoming 20-foot container shipments in 2020, buyers are going to have to look at supply chain, both in product and store fixtures. Confidence is low in overseas supply, so support UK Designers and Manufacturers – we are more accountable and probably the only reason UK suppliers have been sidelined is cost.
Check out these six truths retailers will have to get their heads around if they are going to stand a chance in the “new normal”:
- Someone is going to sell your product at cost or even less
- Everyone knows everything – nothing is a secret
- Experience matters – customers want to spend more time in stores that are fun and interesting, and where employees are passionate and engaged
- Reputation matters and will make or break a business
- Knowing your customer is key – flying blind won’t end well
- If a product or process can be simplified, it will be.
There is so much speculation on what shape this will take – so I won’t bother. One thing’s for certain though – the introduction of PPE will be mandatory. To this end, Impulse is working with retailers on a family of Free-standing Displays, utilising a hands-free sanitiser vapour dispenser. More details will follow next week on these products, which will be available within 2-3 weeks.
The routing within stores has already changed, and the need to inform and reduce dwell time needs punchy communication and great Point of Purchase Displays. It’s logical to look to more Free-Standing units, multi-sided, and easy to shop with limited contact. Space planning will be critical, and it’s pointless to speculate without advice from the Government and BRC.
“Normal” in every aspect of our lives is impossible to predict, and we are excited about the future, and to be a part of the new Retail Experience ahead.