How the quarantine has changed the retail industry
They've gotten creative—and frankly, they're keeping us alive
While our healthcare workers deserve all the applause and standing ovations we can give, there is no denying that retail workers are our unsung heroes during this COVID-19 crisis. Now, more than ever, the supply of basic necessities should be at a surplus. With this, it is the retail industry that keeps us safe and nourished as it gives us access to food, water, face masks, vitamins, alcohol, and the like.
Needless to say, the pandemic has created a dangerous environment for the retail industry. But, many employees continue to serve the nation despite the risks. To lessen the perils of the situation, many retailers have started to improvise their services for their customers.
1. Transitioning to digital
Since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was implemented, online shopping became more popular. Many households have turned to digital grocery and pharmaceutical services. To promote social distancing at all costs, most companies have also waived their delivery fees for the entire quarantine period.
2. Upgrading sanitary measures
Most establishments started offering free alcohol and hand sanitizers for their customers. Frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles and ATM machines, were being cleaned more regularly. Soap and tissue were more available in bathrooms.
3. Prioritizing CSR initiatives
As the COVID-19 cases have been arising, more retailers are doing what they can to fight the crisis. Brands have started taking part in relief opportunities. Malls have been donating to frontliners and the less fortunate. Designers have been creating PPEs and face masks. In the midst of the global crisis, retailers—whether conglomerate or SME—have become a light to those suffering.
Protecting the retail industry workers
The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of the retail industry. Indeed, there have been many improvisations that have resulted in better care for the customers. Sadly, this is not the case for those who work in the retail industry. We are seeing that many retail workers have not been getting the support that they need. Many are still forced to risk their lives on a daily basis. Most have been laid off totally.
Because of the crisis, many retail companies have been struggling to survive. Not every employer can afford to provide higher incentives for their employees nowadays. Nevertheless, there are other ways that retail employers can lift up their employees.
1. Showing a supportive management
As with any other industry, employees have a commitment to their employers—and vice versa. In the retail industry per se, employees are very motivated by a supportive workforce. According to JobStreet.com’s Laws of Attraction Data Lab, this industry values management quality. With this, it is important for retail employers to maintain healthy work relationships with their employees.
2. Offering a good healthcare system
These days, retail companies are seeing the importance of providing their workers with better healthcare support. Aside from social distancing being more strictly implemented, retail employees are now being advised to stay home once they feel under the weather. After this quarantine ends, there will be more opportunities for employers to revisit their workers' medical benefits and leave policies for a more stable workforce in times when the business is needed the most.
3. Providing many opportunities to help
As heavily relying on customers, the retail industry definitely benefits from creating a brand that supports various causes. Nowadays, more and more people seek to patronize companies with strong advocacies. But not only does a strong advocacy attract customers—it also piques the interest of future employees and inspires the retention of current employees.
Based on JobStreet.com’s Laws of Attraction Data Lab, corporate social responsibility is another driver that retail employees value more than most Filipino workers do. Retail workers perceive that being people-oriented and environmentally-conscious are “musts” in the workplace. They also are delighted the most when their employers contribute financially to the local or international community.
If your company hasn’t had a chance to contribute to causes before, now is the perfect time to start.
Undoubtedly, retail employees are essential workers—we see that now more than ever. Make sure to keep your company and your employees afloat during these times. Explore the needs and key drivers of retail industry workers here.