Retail Sound Bites: Retailers prepare for a downturn

In this episode, we outline steps to take to better partner with retailers in the coming months.
21 July 2020
Sound Bites
David Marcotte

Senior Vice President, Consulting Division

Tory Gundelach

SVP, Retail Insights, Kantar

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Retailers are quickly evolving to address the state of uncertainty, a difficulty in forecasting, and the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though sales have increased, many retailers are severely cutting back inventory and increasing their cash on hand.

We examined a representative sample of 20 publicly traded retailers across North America and found that they've increased their cash on hand by an average of 65% in the past year. In this episode, David Marcotte and Tory Gundelach share five key metrics to help quantify this pivot and outline behavioural adjustments that will help you partner with retailers over the next 3-6 months.  

Key takeaways include:

  • The need to shift mindsets and demonstrate empathy: Work with retailers as a business, not just a merchandising location.
  • An increased focus on financial acumen: In 2020, it is critical to working in an industry and in countries under great stress.
  • Take the time to update systems and processes: Review existing systems for potential disconnects between expected and real demand.
  • Be proactive to possible portfolio changes: Internally review where you might be exposed to risk if retailers change payment terms and conditions.
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