Today is the last day of 2022 ! Year which in history will always be seen at the cusp of fear & optimism. Time when humans learnt to be more resilient.
Covid it seems has become a part of our life n it’s fear will never move out of it . 2020 we saw it the 1st time & it started testing us. Fear spread across societies , All countries went into lockdown, Malls which got closed in March became the last to open again. Retail which use to be the backbone of India’s consumption story got HIT ! Lacs of retailers, millions of employees & the entire retail ecosystem crippled .
Early 2021 saw some recovery until Delta hit the entire nation in April & again malls had to be closed. Organised Retail saw the next blow n was the last nail in the coffin this time. Many global analyst saw it the end of organise retail . Retailers gave up . Many shut shop . Malls went bankrupt.
But this is the story of Revival, resurgence & resilience . 3rd time despite Omicron in Jan 2022 , we saw markets flooded n malls full as consumers came out for revenge shopping . This is how 2022 went by for Retail :
1. Retailers finally went through Digital transformation : while MT was slow in 2020/21 , it pushed every retailer to look at Digital transformation as new age digital startups started mushrooming n eating up the pie . Every category right from grocery to fashion to home to electronics & each category leader hired a CTO & an App specialist ! From a no website to a flawless UI/UX came into 2022 !
2. Labour force never came back : It was June/July 2020 when TV News & article were flooded with Indian labour force going back to their hometowns for survival ! That incident kept haunting Indian Retailers in 2022 also ! Chefs, Waiters, CCA, Retail promoters – the entire frontend of retail worked in resource constraint as demand came back . Huge attrition, higher salaries & huge training cost was what followed .
3. 2022 saw growth over 2019: most of retailers saw growth over their 2019 nos. Diwali n festive season saw huge rush in malls & many were able to recover last 2 years of losses .
4. Supply chains remained broken : Covid gave a broken supply chain to the world which shook the entire ecosystem. Many Retailers who rely on China/other countries saw lead time , cost of containers , quantity fluctuations going through the roof n almost impossible to sustain business . Many retailers pivoted n started shifted supply chains outside of China n focused on Make in India to avoid delays n have better control.
1. Leaving the pandemic behind – Revenge shopping
2. Challenges faced in form of digital transformation
3. Skilled labour shortage if any
4. Increased consumer spending & corresponding growth
5. The impact of geopolitical alignments
6. Status of the supply chains etc.
The author is the Founder and CEO at Zamia