COVID 19 is likely to plunge many countries across the global into a negative growth. However, the Indian economy is expected to continue on its growth trajectory after the crisis is contained. Even so, rebounding from depression and reinvigorating the supply lines back to normalcy would be extremely difficult as the month-long lockdown has posed many challenges for industries across the country. Worst affected is the fashion retail sector which is losing huge revenues as most shopping avenues including malls have being closed.
COVID 19 has also posed another big challenge for retailers that of changing consumer spending behavior and capacity. Fashion being a perishable commodity, it would now be difficult for retailers to sell their loaded inventories in warehouses. They would have to re-structure their operating models to boost sales.
New strategies for survival
Retailers will also have to devise new strategies to deal with their fixed business costs like rents. One way could be include the force majeure clause in their agreements. This would help them work out a revenue sharing deal with landlords. They can also reduce all overhead expenditure by reassessing their operation costs and plugging cost-intensive leakages. Expansion plans can be shelved till the time till pressure on cash flow eases. A careful and cautious sales projection and a balanced approach will save retailers from both over or under production.
It is also important to take care of their workforce during these times. They should bear the responsibility of non-appealing circumstances such as salary cuts and not to resort to layoffs.
Moreover, a strong and positive communication with all stakeholders including employees, channel partners and vendors will help retailers tide over the current crisis. A close and compassionate connection with employees will prove to be a critical factor for their success in the post-COVID era.
Maintain hygiene standards
The COVID-19 hangover is likely to remain for the entire year. Hence, retailers should follow all measures issued by the government, ministries and other agencies during and after the lockdown. They should ensure compliance of high level sanitization and hygiene practices in their shops and factories. They should also provide safety and PPE kits to employees.
Focus on domestic opportunities Going digital will help amplify business prospects in post-COVID times. They should look for a more homegrown, nationalized opportunities and solutions for growth. On the whole, India should look at providing reliable, safe, and democratic alternatives, and seize newer markets. It should aim at forming stronger bonds with countries across globe and rebuilding its own and world economy together.