With Christmas 2020 grocery retail looking to be an early ‘phoenix’ from the flames of Lockdown meltdown, should retailers be full of festive cheer? We at SWL Group embrace the early seasonal sales lift, but urge a systematic and data-driven approach to retail business optimisation and long-term productivity strategy.
The Retail Bulletin has posted headlines on Asda’s encouraging third-quarter sales, highlighting a 2.7% increase. This is the combined result of increases in grocery and back-to-school clothing, both instore and online. In addition, the group has doubled its Uber Eats deliveries, while developing other trial partnerships with B&Q and The Entertainer. Current sales show a big year-on-year increase in sales of Christmas trees and lights, demonstrating the mooted nationwide desire for an early ‘feel-good’ factor to bring this difficult year to a close.
‘Roger Burnley, Asda chief executive and president, said:
“After a rollercoaster year it’s clear our customers are already planning for a very different Christmas. We have already seen a marked shift in buying patterns with customers stocking up their freezers and cupboards with festive essentials earlier than ever before, which suggests they are getting used to expecting the unexpected but preparing to enjoy themselves as much as possible. Whatever happens during the next few weeks, we are totally focused on delivering a great Christmas for our customers during these uncertain times.”’
These are cheering signs, but could they promise a false dawn? Will we enter a new month-long lockdown in January 2021? With fewer people in employment, public sector pay freezes and a slide into recession make next year even more difficult than this? Will next year bring a Retail New Normal 3.0?
At SWL Group we know from over 30 years’ of retail experience that you can’t be at the mercy of market behaviours and awaiting recession recovery – you have to perform now. SWL’s Retail Partners have a ‘Transition Strategy’ – they first gain insight and then have reliable actions for continuous improvement. Many of your stores are open and you’re trading – but how effective are you? Are you the very best that you can be? Are you unnecessarily leaking costs, and missing opportunities for positive change? Let SWL find out for you – we can help! Retail Crisis Recovery is the focused solution for retail business optimisation.
Call SWL today for a demo on how our Retail Crisis Recovery programme can deliver Insight, Transition and Optimisation for your business. Productivity isn’t just for Christmas – it’s for life!