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Retail & the Consumer Post COVID-19 

What impact has COVID-19 had on the consumer psyche? How can brick and mortar retailers be proactive in ensuring their returning customers will feel comfortable in their surroundings? Are masks, gloves, social distancing, register shields, and sanitizing wipes the new reality? How long will this pandemic impact our shopping behaviors? What does the brick and mortar retailer need to do to instill a sense of structure and calm for the consumer?

If you have ventured out for essential items during the imposed lockdown, you may have noticed the change in your shopping experience. Both customers and retailers alike understood the need to modify their interaction with each other and slowly began to adapt to the real trepidation of shopping. The question is, will all retailers follow suit prior to inviting their customers and employees back into their buildings? 

We should recognize that once stores reopen, and consumers have the courage to return to their favorite retailers, they will be more conscious of how comfortable they are within a space outside of their imposed isolation. The post-pandemic consumer will be hypersensitive to how their shopping environment has been modified to limit the spread of COVID-19 and any future outbreaks. 

Retailers around the world desperately want to reopen their doors and draw customers back into their recently vacated buildings, but are they prepared? A few of the “non-essential” players, have maintained limited operation by providing consumers with a curbside pick-up option in order to retain customer loyalty and avoid total financial collapse. Not long ago, curbside pick-up was limited to local grocery stores and chain restaurants. If customers do not return in droves, will it be the new norm for retail employees to do all the work while you sit in your car and wait?

Now the question remains, what can retailers do to instill confidence in the consumer that the shopping environment is safe, and they have made every effort to mitigate the spread of this and any virus within their buildings?

As the curve begins to flatten in many areas, the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming brighter as retailers work feverishly with their facility maintenance partners to determine what the new norm is and how they can get there. David Karcher, President and CEO of Legacy Group Enterprises Inc. has taken a proactive approach in working closely with our clients to assist in this process. 

“Our companies have been servicing the national multi-site retail market since 1980 and have never experienced a challenge as widespread and impactful as the one we all face currently. Protecting our employees, consumers and facilities is paramount and all companies in our space must pivot to provide safe and inventive solutions. We must all now come together as industry professionals and plan for the future.”

We need to anticipate what the post pandemic world will look like and transform the surroundings to match this new reality. Whether or not we ever return to the pre-pandemic normal is something we cannot predict.  What we do know, is that Legacy is prepared to provide our clients with the support they need to retrofit their locations in this new environment. These customizable solutions will be meant to ease the consumers’ minds as they venture back into the retail world. The primary objective is to ensure customers can return to stores with a sense of security that they did not require in the past, but now may be essential for retailers to survive.  

By Mike McCormack
Director Of Operations
Legacy Group Enterprises, Inc.

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Read the original article here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/retail-consumer-post-covid-19-mike-mccormack/?trackingId=fWP1V54DSWGIjNTFM5QezA%3D%3D

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