The global threat from the corona virus pandemic will eventually pass and retailers will begin to return to varying stages of normal; however, customer experiences and interactions will likely be vastly different. If the retailer is located in an enclosed mall, it is likely that consumers will be slower to adapt, but if the retailer is located in an open-air strip mall, lifestyle center or outlet, the consumer might feel more comfortable spending time at these types of locations.
Consumers may shift toward more eating at home, which includes both cooking/groceries and takeout/delivery. If the shift to work from home continues, cooking is correlated to time at home, and sit-down restaurants would see less business, while grocery stores and membership warehouse clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club will continue to thrive.
The pandemic is changing how consumers think about touching things. As people return to stores, many will be wary of picking up merchandise that has come in contact with others, pushing shopping carts and punching the buttons on credit card readers. To adapt, retailers will encourage the use of contactless payment methods, such as Apple Pay. Macy’s intends to hold merchandise that customers try on in fitting rooms for 24 hours before returning those items to the racks.