Karl Littler, SVP, Public Affairs or Retail Council of Canada spoke with Tim Denis of the Niagara in the Morning radio show to discuss the supply chain logistics that retailers are facing during this crisis.
Steve Denis: What sorts of questions are seeing from your members?
Karl Littler: A significant amount of concern around: will be able to operate? What are the concerns for our employees? And then in some respects it divides into two: pharmacy and grocery where there are spikes of activity. But on the other hand for more general retail, you’re seeing a decline in foot traffic and a deline in sales. On the one hand you have an issue of meeting a spike in demand and on the other hand you’ve got a significant drop in sales for many of the other retailers.
Steve Denis: A lot of the demand are for products, from what I understand, are not in short supply from the supply chain?
Karl Littler: That’s correct. We spend a lot of time talking to our manufacturuers, including hte farm side on food, manufacturers of household products. The products are being grown and produced. The challenge is that truck transportation has some limitations. The second is that there have been some significant spikes in demand where people are buying multiple months worth of products where they would typically have bought a couple weeks worth in the past. So while the products are flowing, it is difficult to ramp up five times or ten times the volumes that you would otherwise have seen. So it’s more of a challenge of logistics than the actual availability of the good from the manufacturers.