Curbside enthusiasm: retailers adapt in a time of crisis

Confronted with the escalating Coronavirus crisis—and the shockingly dramatic sales declines many brands are experiencing—companies are needing to re-think their ways of doing business. In some cases, these new efforts are in direct response to the specific challenges posed by the global pandemic. As just one less radical example, some stores are shortening their hours to give their operations teams time to sanitize and restock shelves, while at the same time creating special shopping windows for their most at-risk customers. While many retail and restaurant chains have been offering curbside pick-up as a customer convenience for years, and others have been testing and scaling it more recently, social distancing and growing operating restrictions are forcing retailers to get more creative. While “shelter in place” orders are making take-out and delivery-only the new normal for most restaurants, Best Buy just shifted to a curbside pick-up only model. While interest in many of the consumer electronics giant’s products is sagging, the chain is seeing surging demand for items that help people work from home. Keeping its store closed for normal operations while offering this new service—along with online shopping and virtual customer service—allows the company to keep some revenue coming in while conforming to the near-term market reality. Read more at Forbes.