It’s retail, but not as we know it. As restrictions begin to relax, more brands are finding imaginative ways to reopen, run efficiently and move stock whilst adhering to social distancing. Here are some of the ways we’ve seen leading businesses reopen, along with tips on how you can do the same:
Many distribution centres have long been closed, but with retail stores lying dormant, many savvy brands have combined the two. Reopening as micro-warehouses, brands like fashion label Anine Bing are now fulfilling global orders within their stores. If your store is central with great delivery connections, think about how you could set up an e-commerce presence or introduce a subscription service - another trend that’s booming under lockdown.
Click & collect
If your shop doesn’t have the space to observe social distancing, organising an online pick-up service could be your route to reopening. As you’re already close to your core customer base, you can organise a click & collect method of selling, like restaurant group Big Mamma. From their two London restaurants, customers are able to pick up their favourite meals or DIY recipe kits safely with zero contact. This could be set up online so your customers can book a pick-up slot. Alternatively, you could take orders by phone to connect with customer service.
For many brands, especially the salons and restaurants, social distancing means substantially less profit. But now that rents are cheaper, it’s an increasingly viable option to take on more than one space, which will allow you to observe the requirements of social distancing.
For closed dining spots looking to generate some much-needed revenue, it’s becoming popular to reopen as ‘dark kitchens’ — restaurants operating on one or more delivery services, without opening to the public. One such place is independent bistrot Top Cuvee, who launched their own delivery service of restaurant-quality food to meet local demand. Their dark kitchen delivers straight to the homes or public sunbathing spots of their customers.
If your brand is struggling with an excess of stock caused by the outbreak, consider launching a sample sale pop up. It’s an effective and no-commitment way to generate revenue and promote your product. For maximum cost-efficiency, pop up in a high footfall area like a high street or shopping centre, just like Harrods. The luxury store has just announced the opening of its first-ever outlet store in London’s Westfield. It’s an initiative that will drive sales and shift stock, without devaluing the reputation of its flagship.
Although the in-store experience will no doubt change, your storefront can still be used as prime advertising space for your brand — it’s much more cost-effective than a billboard or an advert in a premium magazine. There’s also scope to be more creative: think of the ways your brand can occupy a 3D space and uniquely express your story. With the rest of the highstreet dormant, it’s an opportunity to really stand out, so why not collaborate with a local artist to create a memorable window display? Hunter Boots, for example, repurposed a tube station space as a shoppable billboard to entice customers to visit their nearby store. For inspiration on how to craft an iconic window, check out the notes from our masterclass with LVMH.
If you’re looking for advice tailored to your brand on how you can make your comeback, get in touch with us via The Hotline — an on-call mentorship service from our team of experts that’s completely free. We’re here to help.