Voice of the Employee

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of UK retailers are suffering from supply and logistical issues during the Covid-19 crisis, surpassing a drop in demand (70%) as the most common challenge.

According to research from Opinium and LiveArea, other major obstacles include work planning and staffing (50%) and cashflow and credit concerns (31%).

While many businesses have struggled in these difficult times, those with strong and advanced digital capabilities have adapted. One third (35%) are operating as normal, while 15% have recruited more staff to scale to market demands. Almost a fifth (17%) of retailers reported business had increased compared to the same period last year.

The research also highlighted the means with which retailers are looking to deal with the changing landscape, with digital commerce (72%) and IT infrastructure (60%) named as the top investment priorities following the pandemic.

“Although retail has been hit hard by the pandemic, there is now at last some genuine clarity. Digital investment is now undoubtedly the key to long-term success, providing the agility retailers need to thrive in the new world,’ said Elliott Jacobs, EMEA Commerce Consulting Director at LiveArea.

“The retail industry is set for a complete overhaul, from in-store experience and purchasing behaviours, to delivery and logistics. No company can fully understand its ramification and therefore must invest in technology that enables business agility. Whether it be through strategic partnerships or mergers, new platforms or applications, retailers need the insights that digital provides. Only by developing these capabilities can brands truly react to these unprecedented times and come out stronger at the other end.” continued Jacobs.

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