For many years, the retail sector has been relying on the conventional shopping way. The retail business structures are established on the fact that the customer will visit a physical store. The business plans are mainly including Staff hiring, supply chain and counting mainly on the physical turnover. The operational cost is determined by the choice of the store location and the cost relating to that.
With this surprising global pandemic, the retail businesses are shifting quickly their strategy to the online business which in one hand taking away from them the heavy cost of physical stores leases but on the other hands it has created a big gap in Human resources capabilities to respond to this new specific demand. Not an easy task to change a business that use to operate for many years in a specific format with fixed processes.
What will happen to the human capital that use to work on the physical store? Well the answer is that some of the retailers has taken some new initiatives like moving the front store staff to the back end to support the growing online orders. Some stores are kept the same with the staff presence and doors closed. Instead of serving a customer at the location, they got linked to the online platform and prepares the orders while in the store. The orders are picked up by the logistic in charge or by the clients themselves.
Will we need a merchandiser specialist while the store is closed? Well, the answer is that the merchandiser formally prepared the store layout and the store front to attract the customers inside the store. Now the role is completely shifting to prepare the merchandise for photos shootings and helping the digital team posting them on the online platform. Some of the retailers are using the store managers during this pandemic to drive and monitor delivery service quality.
To survive as retailers, we have to change and adapt our sell-out strategy to meet this exceptional unique global situation. It will help us retain our staff and at the same time open a new channel that will diversify our turnover even after this pandemic is over.