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A disrupted retail sector… September 16, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This piece here by Conor Pope in the IT is interesting if only for what it doesn’t quite address as much for what it does. For example. He writes about how the retail sector took a massive hit during the lockdown. He writes:

All shops, save for those deemed essential, were forced to close for months and then when they were eventually allowed to reopen, have had to limit the numbers who could come through their doors.

As if that wasn’t challenging enough they also had to introduce all sorts of consumer-unfriendly measures while, in the background, lurked the virus that has caused all the upheaval.

In the background? One would wonder how much in the background. Be that as it may:

In such a climate it is hardly surprising that many people decided the shopping palaver and the risks associated with crowds – even controlled ones – wasn’t worth it, preferring instead to take their business online.

It is also becoming clear that while Covid-19 was the spur that pushed people into the online world, many are now there to stay while many are also very keen to shop locally as an act of solidarity.

But:

A survey published last month jointly by the Irish domain registry company IE Domain Registry and Digital Business Ireland found that 74 per cent of shoppers surveyed have been put off by the queues, capacity limits and social distancing requirements encountered during the pandemic.

The Tipping Point report also found that when – let’s say when, rather than if – Covid-19 is brought under control, 48 per cent of consumers surveyed say they will do the bulk of their shopping in physical stores while 11 per cent will continue to do most of their shopping online. The remaining 41 per cent will opt for a combination of both.

A lot depends on whether remote working/working from home continues. It’s easy to shop online if one is at home at a given hour to receive whatever has been dispatched to one. But if there’s a more general return to workplaces that obviously changes matters.

Without question shopping online is quite useful. And the report above notes that there’s a fairly strong loyalty to ‘locally-owned’ businesses – in other words providers of services and goods in this state. While international businesses initially took up much of the slack subsequently Irish ones have carved out a broader niche. That’s no great surprise. Time alone would dictate that the latter would be in a better position to send goods more quickly. The report suggests, though, that as matters normalise older trends will come to the fore with locally-owned businesses beginning to lose out again. Of course much then depends upon what defines normal and whether matters return to the status quo ante. Scepticism on that point might not be misplaced.

Comments»

1. crocodileshoes - September 16, 2020

‘A given time’ to receive delivery is a big drawback with online shopping. I’ve made, I’d say, 6 online purchases in the last 6 months and probably wasted a total of 6 days sitting in the house waiting for deliveries that haven’t happened. You give your phone number when you buy, but the delivery company isn’t the same as the company you bought from, so no show and no phone call, either. No exaggeration to say unreliable delivery has put me off ordering online. Amazon, whom I don’t use, are apparently very dependable; Irish businesses had better be able to match them if they want to do half their trade online.

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WorldbyStorm - September 16, 2020

I’ve not had too many problems in that regard, but I know some people who have. It’s is very tricky and as you say the lack of connection between those you purchase from and those who deliver it is very striking. Apple oddly are very good in terms of delivery times. As you say, if Irish companies can’t be pushed to get stuff out on the time designated they’re going to suffer.

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alanmyler - September 16, 2020

It’s all down to the delivery service, not the online seller. I work from home so I’m almost always here but in my experience An Post are good and of the private couriers only DHL are reliable in terms of sending a text or calling to say they’re on the way. With DPD and Fastway they just show up and you’ve no pre-warning about it at all. The youngster working as the postie up in D8 was saying that An Post seem to be getting on top of the package delivery load finally, having struggled at the start of the Covid situation with the huge increase in package deliveries. But An Post only do the small packages of course.

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WorldbyStorm - September 16, 2020

Yeah An Post are excellent – they even deliver Sat AM. DHL very good. The rest. Fingers crossed. It’s one real plus of working from home isn’t it? Doesn’t matter what time something comes if we’re in.

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tafkaGW - September 16, 2020

DHL workers are poorly paid enough. But the pay and conditions for those further down the delivery food-chain is abysmal.

You can expect much from that kind of exploitation, except profits for their bosses.

Liked by 1 person

2. yourcousin - September 16, 2020

Not normally an online buyer except for books. But on Sept. 1 I walked in the door at 8:30pm with a few doves in hand. With it being a balmy 80 degrees out and a work night leaving it in my truck wasn’t an option. Dogs and kid were excited, my wife a little less so as I put them in a ziploc bag before throwing them in the fridge for the night.

Fast forward two weeks and wouldn’t you know a mini fridge appeared on our doorstep Sunday morning without warning. This brave new world of technology, will wonders never cease?

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