Retailers are going to curbside and delivery. Will they stay that way?
What a few weeks ago were perks that were growing in popularity have quickly become the only way many brick-and-mortar retailers and restaurants can do business. Curbside pickup and delivery are allowing some to stay in business without putting customers and employees at risk for COVID-19 or violating increasingly common state-level lockdown orders. This is proving true for retailers beyond grocers and restaurants, as well.
On Sunday, Best Buy announced that its stores would now operate for curbside pickup only, according to CNBC. Customers are also able to order products online and have them delivered directly to their homes. Best Buy has experienced a spike in demand for tech products used to conduct business from home, due to a large segment of the job force now doing so indefinitely. The chain has also suspended in-home consultations and repair services.
Dick’s Sporting Goods, discount shoe chain DSW and video game retailer GameStop have all likewise shifted to operating in a pickup and delivery-only capacity, according to an article on Android Central. This is in addition to a variety of mass retailers and grocers, which have been increasing their pickup and delivery fulfillment capabilities in recent years.
For some retailers, the move represents a quick and dramatic strategic pivot against the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation.
GameStop, for instance, closed all of its stores and moved to pick-up and delivery-only after drawing the ire of the public last week for attempting to position itself as “essential retail” exempt from government shutdown orders.
The shift from major retail chains follows in the steps grocers have taken. Although allowed to stay open, as they are considered “essential retail,” many have expanded curbside pickup and delivery to promote the social distancing viewed as critical for reeling in the pandemic.
- Best Buy shifts stores to curbside pickup only as demand surges for home office equipment – CNBC
- These retailers are offering curbside pickup in the U.S. – Android Central
- Online shopping and deliveries to continue despite lockdown of “non-essential” UK shops – The Sun
- GameStop closes all stores – CNN
- Will GameStop lose more than it wins keeping stores open during the coronavirus outbreak? – RetailWire
- How can indie restaurants survive the coronavirus? – RetailWire
- Should retail close? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will retailers and restaurants that have moved to curbside pickup and delivery-only be able to effectively weather the coronavirus pandemic? Do you think those that are newly piloting these offerings will maintain them after the coronavirus pandemic is over?