By Madeline Baumgartner
2020 has brought about a pandemic never before seen in our lifetime. By March, all regions of the world were affected by the devasting effects of COVID-19. Each region implemented various regulations to help keep residents safe. Most non-essential businesses were closed by the beginning of April, while only grocery and drug/pharmacy, gas/petrol stations, and other key retailers like Walmart and Target remained open.
Over the past few weeks, brands, retailers, and suppliers have taken precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while trying to remain open for business. From face masks and hand sanitizers, to deep cleaning and employee hygiene, retailers worked hard to safely remain open. They also took a number of steps to help maintain social distancing in-store, including floor markings (one-way signs and where to stand in line) and the use of only shelf-ready POP, which eliminated the need for extra people in-store for setup. All of these measures are likely to continue as other retailers plan to re-open for business in the coming months.
While businesses adjust to the changing world, POPIA UK, along with the members of the Shop! Global Network, conducted a survey to understand how the pandemic was affecting companies in the shopper marketing industry around the world. The survey focused primarily on agencies, POP producers, brands, and other industry players in Africa, Australia/New Zealand, Europe, Greater China, and North and South America. The survey was conducted April 8–21, 2020, and a total of 314 responses were collected from 22 countries.
The findings were generally consistent across the supply side of the industry, with significant differences by country. Argentina and the UK see the greatest damage currently. Significant staff reductions are expected, mitigated by government support where available.
Overall, 79% of all respondents (84% of POP producer and 87% of agencies) said they were experiencing a severe or less severe impact on current business. While overall 8% (4% of POP producers and 4% of agencies) saw a positive impact on current business.
63% of the respondents saw a negative impact on future business, with 25% not knowing what to expect in the coming months. And approximately 90% of respondents had seen contracts cancelled or deferred.
The report is just one of the many benefits members of Shop Environments Association receive. Members can view the report produced by POPAI UK at POPAI/SHOP! COVID-19 Research – May 2020. If you are not a member, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how your company can join enjoy this and other of our many benefits.
As businesses get ready for a phased reopening, customer and employee safety will be uppermost on everyone’s mind. Face masks will be mandatory. Entrance and traffic control will be essential to ensure proper social distancing. One-way aisles, queueing separators, and shopper routes will continue, as will sanitizing stations. The plexiglass guard may be here to stay. One thing is for certain; Whatever the next normal will be, the members of the Shop! Global Network will be there to help. To find a supplier, please visit supplierconnect.shopassociation.org.