Canadian apparel retailers face a unique set of challenges re-opening stores during a period of uncertain demand, over-supply of seasonal merchandise, and new health & safety measures – while adjusting to changing customer expectations and shopping behavior.
We recommend that apparel retailers consider the following 5 actions as they navigate the re-opening phase:
- Determine which stores to reopen and manage a staged reopening across their networks with careful consideration for additional costs, lower expected demand, and strategic & operational considerations.
- Prepare stores for customer and employee health & safety, including considerations for fitting rooms, returns, social distancing, cleanliness, training, and PPE amongst others.
- Develop plans for seasonal inventory by extending the season, reducing markdowns and/or adjusting buys, in additional to considerations for new promotions to stimulate demand.
- Assess supply chain risk from shutdowns and logistics challenges, and consider renegotiating orders based on expected demand.
- Increase eCommerce and omni-channel capabilities to support channel shifts, since new customer buying habits may sustain even as stores re-open.
For details on practices leading global retailers are pursuing on each of these topics, and many others, please download the latest Road to Retail Recovery Playbook, the essential recovery planning guide developed by Retail Council of Canada in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group. We’ve created a section dedicated specifically for apparel retailers so you can more easily share this information with your teams.