This year in retail will be remembered for many things, from empty store shelves and the challenges that physical retail faced to the record growth of ecommerce and the rise of last-mile delivery partners. Consumer behavior and state government guidelines in response to COVID-19 have fundamentally shifted the way consumers live and shop. While some retailers have posted record quarterly revenue and profits, others have shuttered their doors for good.
Many of the changes we have witnessed are not entirely new, but a reflection of the acceleration of already existing trends. Mixing them with the significant economic slowdown, trade wars, the highest US unemployment since the Great Depression, and it sets the stage for the elements that are just beginning to permanently reshape the skills, technology, strategy, and agility required to succeed in the next chapter of commerce.
This year’s Breakthrough Insights brings together some of our best thinking of 2020 about the complex ways that all of these changes continue to impact manufacturers and retailers. Beyond a point-in-time analysis, these pieces are a guided journey through many of the questions that we heard from you through our COVID-19 and Commerce Now series that we grouped into five key themes:
This dynamic collection of work takes the reader from near-term, highly tactical, and executional scenarios to more forward-looking, strategic scenario-planning frameworks aimed at maximizing organizational agility and preparing your company to excel in a post-pandemic retail environment.