Profound paradigm shift needed for retail business sector to survive: Retail Congress told | The Daily Star
11:43 PM, September 28, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:49 PM, September 28, 2020

Profound paradigm shift needed for retail business sector to survive: Retail Congress told

A profound paradigm shift is required for the retail business sector to survive in the wake of economic fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, an expert has said.

Arijit Chakraborti, a partner at PwC, came up with the remark while speaking at the 5th Bangladesh Retail Congress, an initiative of Bangladesh Brand Forum.

"With the present situation, it seems that retail is all about survival. Retailers are in survival mode, desperately trying to take care of routes to markets and provide chains around the world by the Covid-19 pandemic. Within the post-Covid-19 world, the retail industry will change in such a way that we will feel the consequences for years to return," said Arijit Chakraborti.

Going with the theme for this year "Embracing the New Retail Experience," Chakraborti stated that retailers around the world are becoming involved in the acceptable response to the coronavirus for his or her employees, customers, and their businesses.

For many, it is a one-of-a-kind test of the resilience of the digital ecosystem of business continuity planning and therefore the flexibility of the availability chain, he said.

Regardless of the scenario, the speaker said he believes several truths are starting to become clear for retailers as they appear ahead to overcome challenges during a post-Covid-19 world, adding that companies further down on the trail of digital business transformation are going to be better equipped to handle this disruption.

Arijit Chakraborti forecasted that retailers would need to invest in digital channels because of the primary mechanisms of collecting orders and delivering those orders so as to survive. Such a big economic shift is occurring that's getting to impact the retail business.

Insights show that 41% of consumers experienced the increase of the household bills whereas 40% of the consumers have stated that they need to experience a drop by income, he also said.

"There is an enormous change in consumer behavior too; 49% of the consumers are spending fewer, thanks to fewer social events and activities. We expect that consumer behavior will beat the volatility within the coming days" Chakraborti added.

However, he emphasised that "out of the crisis, new opportunities are arising." The current crisis will create many opportunities for retail businesses to thrive and grow. Eventually, people will return to high streets and shopping centers, he said.

Arijit Chakraborti ended with a note that savvy retailers will meet consumers' social and emotional needs for shopping trips and days out, needs that are elevated by weeks of lockdown.  However, to really thrive within the new era, businesses will also need a strong online presence and a reliable supply chain. The shift to e-Commerce will continue as late adopters, through necessity, have now experienced the conveniences of online shopping. Many of those new internet buyers will remain during this sphere, he said.

The 5th Bangladesh Retail Congress was presented by Shwapno and powered by Apex Footwear Limited, in association with The Daily Star. The event was supported by Unimart and Fiona, while World Retail Forum was strategic partner, MSB was knowledge partner, Aamra was technology partner, Think Content was content partner, Ekattor TV was media partner, Backpage PR was PR partner, Aatosh was Visual Partner and Exsentra was Web Solution Partner with this initiative by Bangladesh Brand Forum.

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