The retail industry is currently in a period of disruption unique in its scale and severity. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted parts of the industry in different ways. While businesses in the grocery sector grapple with supply chain issues, those selling consumer goods and apparel have been challenged by store closures and rapid growth of online sales.
The picture for the retail industry at the midway point of 2020 is vastly different than any one of us could have predicted at the end of 2019. The global spread of the virus has brought a temporary halt to all non-essential trading in many parts of the world. The discretionary sector has seen a significant drop in revenue with closed stores and large numbers of staff on government furlough schemes or working reduced hours.
This report looks at the steps retail businesses need to take to put themselves in the best position for the ‘new normal’ that will emerge once lockdown restrictions are eased. From liquidity to debt and restructuring, the challenges retailers face are diverse and complex. We also consider implications for employers and how financial planning for the medium and long term will be affected.