A critical time, for any organization, is being forced to rethink their strategy and operations in light of transformational market changes. We are reflecting on the retail impacts of COVID-19 and what the future holds.
Back in 2008, during the Great Recession, we saw consumers ‘trading down’ from higher priced brands and shifting their purchases towards value-based brands. Driven by macro-economic factors, we saw tremendous growth in private label products and, at the time, were questioning whether or not this was the “new normal.” Many people thought this shift was purely temporary and consumers would come back when the economy came back. Many others thought that this was merely an acceleration of trends and that the ‘new normal’ had been established. The answer, as we have learned over the past 12 years, has been somewhere in between.
Fast forward to today. There are few industries, if any, that have been forced to deal with transformational change and the constant question of a ‘new normal’ as much as the retail industry. And this need for change has only been accelerated over the past year with COVID-19. Will shoppers continue to gravitate towards the safety, security, and convenience of online shopping from their homes? Have we established a new normal? Or, are we going to see shoppers back in physical stores, to the extent they were 5 years ago, when the pandemic comes to an end? Similar to 12 years ago, I believe the answer will again, likely, be somewhere in between.
This week, I am excited to welcome Sean Burke to Taking Stock. Sean is an Associate Partner at Clarkston and one of the leaders of our retail practice. Having worked with retail brands over the past 10 years, Sean has helped his clients navigate these changes and prepare for whatever the future might hold. In our discussion, you will hear us hit upon the growth of eCommerce, how COVID-19 has accelerated many of the trends we have been talking about for years, the specific retail impacts of COVID-19, and what the future potentially looks like post-pandemic.
You can download and listen to the Retail Impacts of COVID-19: Taking Stock with Sean Burke podcast episode here.
In this podcast series, Clarkston Consulting Partner Steve Rosenstock sits down with experts and thought leaders from both within Clarkston and throughout its consumer products and life sciences client-base, covering a range of topics from industry trends and consumer dynamics, to organizational governance and business strategy. Steve provides you access into the passions of its guests and allows you to benefit from their stories, knowledge, and deep expertise.
Podcast production by Zach McClughen