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EDITORIAL How Top500 retailers are rethinking their operations in the light of Covid-19

In today’s InternetRetailing newsletter we’re reporting as Top500 retailers respond to shoppers’ growing appetite to shop once by rethinking their operations. Hotel Chocolat is considering the way it organises its warehouses so that it can find ways to shift sales online more quickly another time. That should mean it’s better positioned if there’s a second lockdown in the future.

Waitrose says plans for a new distribution centre that were already in the pipeline ahead of the upcoming end of its partnership with Ocado will help it respond to pent-up demand and double its capacity for online delivery in the London area. The new centre is also being built around sustainable principles. 

Both are examples of how retailers are planning now in order to put themselves ahead of the curve as shoppers change their retail behaviour fast. That’s something that many others will also be doing as they look to ensure they are delivering the kind of service their customers need, even at such as fast-changing time. As always, those who act quickly will be well-placed to benefit as demand is channelled in new ways.

We look in more detail at how shopper behaviour is likely to change, through analysis from Accenture, EY and Foolproof. EY suggests retailers should look ahead to the new shopping habits of post-lockdown consumers, Accenture suggests shoppers will buy more sustainably, while shopping online for groceries more often, while Foolproof warns that shoppers may shy away from using touchscreens in stores and restaurants. 

HelloFresh, meanwhile, reports a sharp rise in demand for its subscription meal boxes. And we sum up other findings and developments around issues from payment methods to more sustainable ways of buying in our rolling coronavirus round-up story. We hope they’ll be useful to those considering how their own operations might adapt to the new normal in the future. 

Today’s guest comment comes from Kerry Young of EnterWorks at Winshuttle who considers how data can help retailers in a crisis. 

Image courtesy of Waitrose

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