Retail executives joined WWD in discussing the uncertain landscape of retail amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the second installment of WWD’s special webinar series, “Crisis Management and the Coronavirus,” Jim Shea, chief commercial officer at retail predictive analytics company First Insight Inc., Diane Ellis, a veteran retail executive, and Steve Riordan, consumer practice leader at Kalypso, discussed supply chain, technology and infrastructure. The purpose of the webinar was to not only emphasize a sense of community and togetherness as industries continue to fight uncertainty but also to identify solutions.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, headlines have been increasingly alarming. Last week saw more than 3 million unemployment claims in the U.S. alone and retailers have extended store closures with fear of uncertain timelines. It is a time where many industries feel under duress.
Without question, consumer behavior has been rapidly altered by the new normal created by the coronavirus. To better understand how shopping behaviors are changing First Insight conducted two consumer studies in the U.S. over the course of three weeks, first on Feb. 28 and then again on March 17. Unsurprisingly, consumers proved to be very concerned. Within the second study, First Insight found 71 percent of respondents were worried about coronavirus, up significantly from Feb. 28. And 98 percent said they believed there would be an impact on the economy.