A new report from GartnerG2 suggests some strategies that retailers could adopt in order to manage what may prove to be an unusual shopping period.
Gartner G2's new report, Crisis Planning Strategies for Retailers � Now! predicts that bricks and mortar sales may drop by as much as 10% and online shopping may increase to pass the US$25 billion this year; a rise of 39% on last year. According to the company's research director, Geri Spieler: "The plans retailers make now to deal with these changing shopping habits will help them better manage the demands of forecasting, spending and fulfilment."
Gartner G2 recommends adopting business strategies that retailers would never have considered in the past but are now critical to their survival. These include advising online retailers (who can respond quickly to customer demand) to reduce their remaining autumn stocks; and advising companies that do business overseas to review their supply chains for stability and possible interruptions. Demand forecasts and buying should be reduced, but seasonal and staple stock should be held as a contingency. It would also be wise to source potential new suppliers as a backup precaution, and possibly even to source new stock. According to Spieler, "Stockpiling inventory in the event of supply and delivery problems is a 180 degree turn from where we have been over the past several years."
Data for the survey were gathered from 40,000 consumers over 18 and from major retailers, suppliers and fulfilment providers.