06 October 2021

Outlook For Retailers

In Auckland, we are in a lockdown variant. From a retailer's perspective, you could call it "lockdown with KFC". This week, it evolved to "lockdown with KFC in the park". At some stage, retailers may have to cope with regulations like "one person per x m2 in the store", enforced by a security guard at the door (at their cost).

Then, lockdowns will end – as they have in most of the world. Retailers shouldn't count on a strong recovery based on web sales, like the one we experienced last year. That is because we no longer have large volumes of new entrants to on-line commerce, and many people appear keen to spend their money on overseas travel, the moment border restrictions ease.

Web sales will continue to be an important and growing part of retailing. Some retailers are doing it very well. Software designed years ago to manage store operations using cash-register-based control systems may not be best suited for a web channel. Retailers should consider upgrading to one of several modern platforms designed for that purpose.

Here at DSL, we have continued to cope with large inbound volumes, which are a mixture of catching-up from shipping disruptions and the usual seasonal Christmas rush. Orders have been packed ready for dispatch as soon as the lockdown lifts. Warehouse space is tight but manageable, at this stage. We have suspended the usual strict 98% KPI but are running no more than a day or two behind. We will keep you informed.

Daniel Silva