Many retailers in a race with COVID-19 for survival

  • Posted on May 11, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 2 minutes
Many retailers in a race with COVID-19 for survival

Recently, the New York Times published a story containing the words “pretty catastrophic” in the title to describe how the coronavirus outbreak had impacted retail sales in the U.S. in the previous month. According to the Commerce Department report cited, the decline was by far the largest in the nearly three decades the government has been tracking the data. Especially hard fit were clothing and clothing accessories stores who saw a 50.5% drop in retail sales from the previous month. Catastrophic, indeed.

Bad news. Especially for someone like me, whose work is focused on the retail industry. And even more especially because I have family members who work in the retail industry. My niece is a store manager for a high-end fashion retailer. At least she was until her store closed about a month ago. Now, she’s a grocery delivery person for a big box store. She actually enjoys it and is happy to have the job but her heart is in fashion and she can’t wait to get back to it. My sage advice to her is to hang in there, that things will turn around eventually. I imagine our retail clients are looking for something a little more concrete to hang on to.

It’s at times like this that we often look to our parents for support. For Avanade as a company that means Microsoft and Accenture. They’ve both stepped up big time during this crisis. Microsoft is offering Microsoft Teams for free to everyone and special rates on combination offers made with partners like us. Accenture has been a consistent source of thought leadership and advice on how to survive, regroup and move past the pandemic. I recommend starting with “COVID-19: Retailers serving customers on the frontline” as a must-read for retailers. 

So, Avanade comes by its desire to help naturally. We’ve come up with our own approach with retailers based on what we’ve learned from Microsoft and Accenture. We feel particularly well-versed in remote working. As a company we’ve been practicing what we preach in this area for years. We have practical knowledge about what and what not to do. Combining that with our retail industry knowledge, our Microsoft Teams expertise and our agile nature, I think we have a lot to offer and a lot to be proud of. For a quick read, try our It’s time for Teams for retail brochure. To dig into it a little deeper, I suggest reading Elastic Digital Workplace for the Microsoft Platform

I think I should circle back with my niece; I have better advice to offer her now.

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