Notice: Retail Is Canceled for Spring 2020
An update on what your favorite brands are doing in response to the national emergency
Within the past 10 days, some of the most popular spring sporting events were either delayed or completely nixed: the NBA indefinitely suspended its regular season, the NCAA canceled the rest of its season and March Madness, the MLB pushed back Opening Day to mid-May at earliest (as of March 16), and the Masters Tournament postponed its events.
The coronavirus is changing our way of life, how we work, and what we do for entertainment—all in a matter of days. And it continues with each update from the White House and our governors.
From IRL back to the internet
Running brick-and-mortar stores has recently become a popular means for brands to acquire customers and give the full in-person experience. That’s being put on pause at the moment.
Everlane, UNIQLO, Rothy’s, and almost every other company that has a physical presence have temporarily closed up shop due to the communicable nature of the virus.
Apple also announced that it would also be closing all of its retail locations outside of Greater China until further notice.
These closures could cause a huge spike in online sales as young brands are still fulfilling purchases made through their websites. In fact, Amazon is bulking up its workforce in preparation for an expected increase in demand in the coming weeks. The retailer is adding 100,000 new jobs to its fulfillment network and increasing its hourly wage by $2 (or more depending on the region).
HQ teams are working remote using tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts. (At the time of writing, Zoom’s iPhone app is currently the #1 app on the App Store.)
Delivery will dominate
Many states have ordered restaurants and bars to close its doors to dine-in customers, only keeping carry-out orders available for purchase. While local restaurants and coffee shops are hurting from a lack of foot traffic, DoorDash and Uber Eats will hopefully supplement those decreases in sales. Both of the popular delivery services are waiving fees and offering no-contact drop offs.
In perfect timing, Chipotle introduced Delivery Kitchen last week:
“Our Delivery Kitchen is like a Chipotle within a Chipotle, preparing real, fresh, personalized bowls and burritos solely for digital guests,” Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer. “Chipotle is the first brand to scale this concept nationally with over 2,500 restaurants featuring the unique set-up for digital orders, and our March Free Delivery offer is the perfect opportunity to experience the Delivery Kitchen.”
The chain is offering free deliveries on orders of $10 or more through March 31.
Digital initiatives have proven to be a strong catalyst in Chipotle’s rebound. QSR estimates that it has become a $1 billion business, doing ~$250 million each quarter.
In a letter from CEO Ritch Allison, Domino’s Pizza, which dubs itself as “the recognized world leader in pizza delivery,” announced that it would offer contactless delivery during the crisis. Many businesses big and small and taken similar measures to ensure cleanliness and safety for customers
Early on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced a proposal to send cash checks to some Americans to stimulate spending. No one knows how long the coronavirus pandemic will last, so stay up to date on your favorite restaurants, stores, and brands by following them on social media.