If you’re the owner of a retail business, you’ve most probably been hit really hard by the restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of you have been forced to close or are struggling with the question of adapting your retail business to COVID-19.
We asked owners of retail businesses all around the world what they are doing to adapt their business in a world suffering from the Coronavirus. This is what they had to say:
DTC Performance Polo Shirt Company
I own a growing DTC Performance Polo Shirt company, called Tillinger. We make versatile, logo-less performance polos appropriate for playing golf, wearing to work (or Zoom calls), and for enjoying a Friday night out.
However, over the last few weeks, I temporarily pivoted and built a new product to help with content and sales for the current quarantine environment: Personalized Online Golf Lessons with PGA Professional Ryan Hager. Ryan is the Director of Instruction at renowned Plainfield Country Club in New Jersey, and is a Master Instructor with Jim McLean Golf Schools. We’re excited to partner with him on this unique offering that can be enjoyed without the need to leave your house or backyard and is a more affordable option for those looking for a quick escape.
We will be showcasing lessons by Ryan and other golf tips for content during this period of lockdown!
Jordan Sack, Tillinger
I am the owner of Top This Chocolate, a premium customizable-on-the-spot chocolate store in Ventura, CA. I opened the retail store just this past October. The store is still open for takeout orders but revenue is down 95%.
I had to quickly update my website and focus on e-commerce at TopThisChocolate.com. Most are not accustomed to buying chocolate online so it is hard to get customers to do this even though I cut the shipping charge in half. I am also offering a free gift with purchase. Easter has been my saving grace as it is a huge chocolate buying occasion.
Stay safe. Stay calm. Eat Chocolate.
Shana Elson, Top This Chocolate
Metal Supermarkets is a national supply store of small-quantity metals. The store exclusively carries metal supplies – aluminium, steel, brass, bronze and copper – and precision cuts, shears or punches to the customer’s exact specifications.
Like most businesses, Metal Supermarkets has seen a reduction in sales over the past month and has been forced to restrict customers from entering the store. Their locations across the country have remained open, however, as they have been deemed an essential service.
Here are some of the ways in which Metal Supermarkets has adapted their marketing, communications and business operations over the past several weeks:
- They are hosting additional webinars with pertinent updates as they become available. The Head Office team is working to disseminate information and provide guidance to franchisees on various relief programs.
- The company has provided branded messaging and situation-specific communications for its franchisees, depending on what operational changes they have implemented. The marketing team is working to keep customers informed of changes at stores in each market, using the website, social media channels and e-mail marketing. They are also making enhancements to its existing eCommerce platform, as it has quickly become a critical part of the business due to social distancing.
- The operations team is focused on assisting with the set-up of remote workspaces, redirection of phone lines to remote Customer Service Representatives, as well as reviewing and providing direction on best practices, employee and staff safety, and any government information.
- They have released a Franchisee Support Package providing financial assistance to franchisees under certain circumstances.
Kevin Behan, Metal Supermarkets
Health and Safety
I work with Enviro-Master Services, the nation’s premier health and safety company. Its band of hygiene heroes are busier than ever blasting away the germs at essential businesses that could contain contagions.
After initially losing 60 percent of its client base when restaurants, bars, and schools closed, the company bounced back with a business boom. Enviro-Master franchisees pivoted and is now helping grocery stores, pharmacies, even local emergency service centers such as fire stations and 911 call centers keep their customers and employees safe and protected. New business is up 890% from the same period last year. In many cases, franchisees are experiencing higher revenues than they did prior to the pandemic!
Enviro-Master techs use a sci-fi looking tool they’ve dubbed the Virus Vaporizer(tm). The Virus Vaporizer contains a hospital grade germicide registered with the EPA that wipes out 99.999 percent of 47 different disease-causing pathogens – including coronavirus. It is non-toxic, non-corrosive, odorless, and food safe. Pre-coronavirus the company used an average of 350 gallons of germicide a week systemwide. That usage has jumped to 19,000 gallons a week – reflecting the demand and increase in business.
The demand for the company’s service isn’t likely to drop off once the coronavirus scare lessens. Life will likely NOT go back to the way it was pre-coronavirus – especially when it comes to expectations of cleanliness and hygiene in businesses across the country. Most experts agree – Americans will not let their guard down until there is a vaccine available.
One of those experts is Dr. Charles Gerba, a renowned microbiologist and professor at the University of Arizona who has studied Enviro-Master’s products and services and acts as a spokesperson (unpaid) for the company. He can talk about how the coronavirus crisis will change the way businesses approach hygiene and sanitation in the very near future.
If you’ve got a retail business, we’d love to hear about what you’re doing to adapt to Coronavirus. Leave a comment below!