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Video: Looking Beyond the Curve Towards Retail Recovery

With some stores in a handful of markets cautiously opening up in the U.S. this week, we are just starting to get a glimpse of how consumers & retailers will behave post-crisis...but it is still very early days. While no one can predict the future, we can look at some markets which are much earlier on the curve, such as China and Europe, to get a more mature understanding of scenarios, what to expect, and how to execute against it.

I was fortunate to have an in-depth conversation a couple of weeks ago with Brian Gregg, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, and his colleagues Kelsey Robinson and Hannah Yankelevich, about some of the trends they are seeing, insights from conversations they’ve had with retailers across the globe, and some tactical ways retailers can prepare for the recovery phase of the curve across the entire value chain.

Some of the meaty topics we cover:

  • Signals for how recovery will look based on other markets which are ahead of the US on the pandemic curve.
  • How to be more agile in activating capacity to more quickly meet potential latent demand.
  • Process design for apparel brands to re-think their approach to production and sourcing in the new world.
  • Informed theories of how retail will look on the other side of the crisis and what expectations will carry forward.

To see the McKinsey survey and insights referenced in the video, click here. For more on how to shape the next normal, click here.

This is part of a series of Narvar Insights videos. We previously shared my conversations with Sucharita Kodali, VP & Lead Retail Analyst at Forrester and Kelly Thompson, former COO for Samsclub.com and Chief Merchant for Walmart.com. Please sign up for our newsletter to be notified of new episodes.

Also available on audio platforms like Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcast and more:


FULL TRANSCRIPTION

Amit:

Hello everybody. My name is Amit Sharma. I'm the founder and CEO of Narvar. 

Today we have an opportunity to speak with some of our friends at McKinsey in terms of sharing where we are in terms of the latest COVID crisis and financial impact, and making this conversation very relevant for our retail community, how they can learn as well as plan in the coming months and quarters.

Brian, do you want to kick it off and introduce you and your team?

Brian:

Happy to. And thanks, Amit, for having us. It's such an important time for all of us in the retail community to come together and really get through this as leaders together, so appreciate the opportunity.

Just a quick introduction. My name's Brian Gregg. I'm a senior partner in the McKinsey San Francisco office where I lead our West Coast retail practice and our North American marketing sales practice. So very excited to share some thoughts today.

Kelsey:

Kelsey Robinson. I'm a partner with our San Francisco office. I spend my time focused on growth with B2C companies, in particular thinking through growth opportunities with retailers. Excited for today's discussion.

Hannah:

Hi everyone. I'm Hannah Yankelevich. I'm associate partner out of the Minneapolis office and focus all my time on what I love to call the go-to-market. So everything from sketch to rack, everything that you need when it comes to designing a product, getting that product to market as quickly as possible, and then dealing with the inventory on the backend.

Amit:

Great. This is the best in what you get in retail all the way from the highest level of planning and strategy all the way to execution across the value chain. So let's jump right in. Brian, just bring us up to speed because scenarios are changing essentially on a week-by-week basis and retailers are trying to come up to speed with the latest on a global level because markets in Asia are very different than in Europe or here.

But in a weird way, everything is connected because supply chain is also so much intertwined. And as you speak to your customers and client base, and also do your research, where are we in terms of the latest crisis?

Brian:

It's a million dollar question, isn't it, Amit? I think it's probably important to start by just saying that the COVID situation is first and foremost a human crisis and one globally that we're all wrestling with. So I think just first starting with acknowledging the situation we're in is not one we've ever really dealt with in many, many years.

I think with that as the context, we do have a global response team that is publishing every Monday results on trying to get their hands around the question you just asked. It's really looking at two bookends of the scenarios that we're looking at playing out here.

I think it's important to note that the single biggest linchpin right now and the biggest unknown assumption in all the models is really a question about how resurgent or not will this virus be?

And so I think maybe the thing to really focus on, which I know you'd like to get to today, is what can we be doing today to prepare ourselves for the now and also get ready for this next normal because it will look... one thing we can all agree on is it will look different than what it looked like before the virus hit.

Amit:

And that's a good point. We know some of these things are going to stay with us, especially on consumer sentiment and consumer behavior. So some may come back as the economy comes back, we will go back to somewhat of a normal consumer behavior, but what are you seeing in terms of sentiment that is going to stick around with us in the future and some things that retailers need to be aware of as they plan for the rest of the year or next year that they should be mindful of?

Kelsey:

For the past three weeks, we've been doing a weekly pulse really around the globe because we think one of the key leading indicators of demand is going to be exactly what you asked, Amit, which is what is the consumer sentiment and how are they thinking about the outlook on how they're going to change their behaviors and/or their spend?

I think right now we're thinking about it in three ways. So one, what's the picture of sentiment overall and how is that evolving? Two, how do we look to China as an instructive central future case? We can talk about why that's more or less perfect. And then three, the question you just asked around if some behaviors are changing, do we have any indication of what might stick? Which is a big question on everyone's mind.

I think when it comes to overall optimism, there is still some optimistic feeling out there, especially in the U.S. actually. Just this past week's poll was 41% of Americans are saying they're optimistic. They think the economy is going to come back within two to three months and be in a good place.

We see that highest for higher income populations, also higher for a younger population too, but at the same time 40% of households are saying there's a real impact to their household income. And so, while there's some optimism on the economy, there is clear evidence that, and we see it now in the discretionary spend, there's been an impact to household income.

When we look at and we ask consumers in the U.S., "How are you going to spend money over the next two weeks?" Categorically, category after category, every category is down. The intent is to significantly decrease spend except in categories like grocery, household supplies, entertainment.

One interesting view we had is if you believe Amazon is an indicator of demand, there are a little bit of green shoots there. So we see some interesting signals on outdoor, and sports, and beauty categories where there's a self care at home category that could still be seen and is seen actually a pretty positive comp compared to other categories right now on Amazon's marketplace. So that's been interesting to hear that.

I think we what we’ve seen in China, in the U.S. last week, 60% of Americans said they are being careful with how they spend their money. That number is now only 39% in China. And that was a 15 percentage point difference over the course of two weeks. So you saw a real change as they're starting to come out of recovery in terms of how they think about spending money, cutting back. They're more optimistic and that optimism is translated into potentially a demand indicator.

You are seeing some categories like personal care, skincare, 30% of customers saying they're spending more on those things in China. And so I think we're starting to see some really good signs. I think the question to Brian's point is, how much of an indicator is it? It's the best one we have, but we have to stay really close to understanding for example, in the U.S. geographies, how does COVID-19 evolve? And are we on the same path as China or not? And will we follow these exact same indicators?

Amit:

Especially if you compare and contrast Asia, China specifically with the U.S., the retail model is quite different. You have two dominant players in China how retail and ecommerce is done. In the U.S., you have Amazon and potentially Walmart, and then you have a lot of these players, especially with a lot more omni-channel presence.

One is to, as you are indicating, understanding the consumer sentiment, and the second is that fallout of that, and how do you capture that or respond to that. But then the retail infrastructure in two countries or regions are quite different, and so it may have some different implications in the U.S. as different players tend to respond to these consumer sentiments.

Kelsey:

Yeah. I think that's right and I think that point actually links pretty interestingly to what do we expect to stick or not? The reason being, even in China where you have what you just described with the concentrations on online players, there was a pretty high percentage of, I think it was about 25 percentage of shoppers who said they had switched brands...stores rather, their primary store, would be the online or physical, and about a third who had actually switched brands.

And because of the realities in terms of convenience, availability, accessibility and... Even in trying to... I think, you saw a change in behavior from a brand in a store location perspective or store perspective, and when you ask those folks in China, we went back and asked them, our Chinese colleagues went back and asked them how many of them intended to stick with the change?

Which is always a hard question to answer, but again, probably our best indicator. About half of the ones who had switched store said they might stick with the change. Maybe not comforting, but I think what this means is there's actually quite a bit of fluid movement right now and change in terms of how customers are thinking about where they go to buy what and what brands they really trust and rely on.

So that can be both a challenge but also a huge opportunity right now. If a retailer is able to get the right products, and the right service, and the right offering out there, you could actually get some great new customer acquisition from this situation as well.

Amit:

That's a great way to think about—okay, now that I'm responding to it, but how do I plan ahead on this consumer sentiment across the value chain knowing who are our core customers or have those customer profiles from, all the way to how do you market to them and making sure you have your supply chain operational infrastructure in place to be agile and adapt to these new scenarios that are coming up.

And I know we have Hannah on the line as well who has interest, and passion, and expertise on these topics. Hannah, love to hear from you from the value chain perspective. How should retailers think about it as these new customer sentiments are going to stick with us so they are best prepared at least in terms of planning and hopefully in terms of also from the execution side of it to respond to these new consumer behaviors?

Hannah:

It's a great question and one that we've been having many conversations with. I'd say a change on a daily basis as we continue to see reactions within the market. The biggest themes that we've constantly been coaching I'd say clients on for the past 18 months or so is all about agile and diversification in your portfolio vendors. It's all about reducing risk and where you're sourcing your actual product from.

But a lot of that stems from what retailers are going to be doing right now with their inventory and how are they packaging and thinking through their inventory that they have on hand? And then how are they planning on replenishing as they go into the fall and ultimately driving newness as we get in even to early in 2021.

One of the things that we've talked quite a bit about is what do you do with all the inventory that you have right now? In a quick poll of retailers that we've done, we estimate anywhere between 60 to 75% of spring '20 inventory will be on hand, or what we're calling leftover, due to the store closures, these rapid store closures that I'd say every day extend and extend in terms of when those reopenings will actually happen.

And the name of the game right now is really getting smart in terms of segmenting and really driving strong attribution to your current product inventory on hand, but what do you actually expect to sell? What can you hold and actually carry forward into the fall? And then ultimately, what are the ways that you can either liquidate and/or push through your existing inventory? Whether that be mid-season sales or flash sales, which we're seeing very prominent right now through the online channels.

But also getting smart about do you pull back a portion of your inventory and do a flash sales later in the year? Do you do exclusive product drops, say for example, to bolster your Black Friday product offering? Or do you offer them as wholesale exclusive to some of your wholesale partners?

All of these decisions that you're making now on your spring leftover inventory then has implications that roll over into your back half of the year, your fall and your holiday inventory that you're thinking about. Ultimately, a lot of that has been locked in and what retailers are scrambling to do, which I'm sure a lot of our listeners are thinking about is what is the rate at which they should be canceling these POs or these purchase orders that they have in flight?

And what we're seeing across the board is roughly 40 to 60% of POs for the fall are being canceled and rapid evaluation, again, from a very strategic segmentation of your product or your assortment mix, both intracategory as well as intercategory to understand what is the right recurring items that you should be replenishing and are not replenishing because you have leftover inventory from the spring?

But also how are you balancing on buying into that newness or that innovation that the consumers are still going to want in fall and holidays, likely at a lower volume, but they're still going to be seeking that.

And then ultimately, how does that then carry into how you're designing or thinking about your spring '21 inventory? A lot of retailers right now are either contracting or reviewing protos or samples for spring '21. And a lot of questions that we're getting right now is, how do we think about that? Do we put them on hold? Do we completely pause?

And again, going back to the point of, it's all about segmenting your assortment mix. And the one key opportunity for a lot of retailers right now is re-evaluating that long tail. It's been a constant conversation that I've had with retailers for quite some time on helping to reduce the complexity within their value chain, within their supply chain that oftentimes creates these really long lead times.

And it's a great opportunity to really dig deep into that long tail at a style and even down to a sku level and making some historically tough decisions on cutting that long tail to reprioritize. This is a great opportunity for folks to do that.

There's a lot of other levers that we're seeing retailers take action on or start to ask themselves those hard strategic questions. What it comes to the design process? I think one of the things we've been encouraging I'd say for quite some time is to work in this capacity. I'd say being on Zoom all day is not quite the ideal, but I'd say in the new normal, how do you create a more agile way of working with your strategic vendors?

Moving to virtual reviews like quick turns on prototyping as well as 3D sampling where I imagine we're going to see a huge shift into adoption of technologies on virtual sampling, whether that be flat and/or 3D sampling in order to be able to make quick decisions because the travel restrictions are going to be tough to be in person and be able to review product, and we don't have the liberty to wait for products to ship from Southeast Asia or wherever it may be coming from.

So I think that'll be interesting to see as we expect a huge adoption and that to relieve some of that lead time within the product development process. Additionally, I'd say another big recommendation that we've been giving to retailers is really getting smart on your raw material commitments.

That's oftentimes the longest lever or the longest lead time in being able to react quickly to consumer demand. Whether that be chasing fashion trends or replenishing core items is that raw material development time. And so being really strategic about those commitments that you're making. Don't hold back on making those commitments because you're going to need to have product on hand and be able to change into that.

But being strategic about which raw materials you take positions in with building the agile and the flexibility to either design into it for future seasons if demand isn't resurging as we would hope in the beginning of '21. So all of these combined ultimately will have huge impacts on the way that retailers are working across their supply chain.

Amit:

I think so. Hannah, you mentioned quite a few salient points there and very relevant, and very actionable. And two or three things were really resonating with me and I'm sure with our retail community as well. I think one you mentioned early on is that the inventory on hand, what is the execution plan for that?

You laid out two or three different scenarios: do that through online now, flash sales throughout the season, or do one wholesale exit a hold it back strategically for back half of the year—Black Friday or Cyber Monday. All of those things, what we see and hear is that also has different unit economics impact.

So selling through retail channel right now is a different unit economic cost to it versus you're selling each is online, which is very different. And if you're doing a wholesale exit, yeah, it might be painful, but then you are not bleeding throughout your cycle, then you're focusing, to your point, you're a little bit more nimbler and focusing on your new and up and coming, the customer experience that they will be looking for. So there's that cost impact as you look at the execution side of it.

Let me pause there and hear your feedback, or Brian or Kelsey’s on that specific piece, especially on inventory on hand, what are smarter ways that retailers should think about as they formulate their execution plans?

Brian:

Well, just to give to added thoughts here and then Hannah and Kelsey should weigh in: I think number one is just, this is obviously a category by category phenomenon across the board. I think Hannah was giving us very much a view from the apparel, fashion discretionary view. And remember on the other side of the retail landscape, there's no such thing as excess inventory. It's quite the opposite.

Whether it's non-discretionary, grocery, however we're describing it. And so the stock up behavior we've been observing and how to actually manage capacity, throughput, labor, that's a whole ‘nother set of questions when your stores are open and you're just trying to meet demand.

So I think that the other tricky part here as we talk about retails, it's a tale of two very different cities, and of course there's gray areas in between. That's point one. I think point two to your very specific question about how to manage inventory on hand and how to think about that. We've seen, to Hannah's point on agile, there's almost no better moment in time to change your operating model than now.

And so this idea that we're seeing strong, courageous leaders taking this chance to say, "Okay guys, we are on Zoom and jeez, we're not in an environment we can predict next week's demand curve, but what can we do differently and using this a chance to set up inventory war room settings where we have cross-functional members meeting every morning, 9:00 to 9:15 AM to do stand-ups, huddles, to really plan out the next week or two. To actually not worry about the calendar getting in the way of making decisions."

And that's been, I guess if there's a silver lining in the environment we're in, that's been a really nice thing to see. And so I think in answer to your question isn't so much about what they're doing, but how they're doing it. I think the how story is a powerful one. And maybe Kelsey or Hannah, you can elaborate on some of the whats we've been seeing as well.

Kelsey:

Maybe just one thought to add on is not only has the agile operating model never been more important, but the granularity of decision-making and thinking through where we see demand...Brian described the spectrum of from less to more discretionary where you're seeing, you're going to have very different patterns in grocery and household than you will in apparel, footwear right now.

But even within apparel and footwear where it's very discretionary, the pockets of an individual brand or retailer's inventory on hand, it's a diverse collection usually. And so how do you actually disaggregate that, match it up to demand and think about where are the demand signals for what's actually selling? Where are there green shoots? How do I stay steady on some of that?

And then how do I disaggregate the rest and actually think strategically about the decisions? It's not a blunt instrument, right? Never has it been more important to take some nuanced decisions on actually thinking through a couple of different options that can lay out for us.

Amit:

My takeaway is that it's not just the execution but brand, and Kelsey, as you mentioned, three things, process design, just go back and reevaluate that. Our design in terms of decision making, this is the right opportunity for thinking out org design, and then the data points that needs to be evaluated, so you're not waiting for those long lag signals, whether it is from prototyping part of it or from the decision making part of it.

These are the meaty subjects that have not always been on the forefront, but this is the right opportunity for making decisions on these three areas. And I know you all have a lot of expertise and passion in these areas, so I think something to call out part of our retail community to think about and make some decisions around these two, three topics.

Hannah:

Yeah. The one thing I would add to that, because I think that's a great summarization on the top three topics there, is also encouraging retailers to partner with their strategic vendors. Whether that be the production centers, their supply chain logistics. I think that creating this notion of they're all in it together and could be agile in the way that you are creating solutions and not necessarily doing it in a vacuum, only internally.

Being smart about how you're looking at your metrics of suppliers and in choosing your core critical ones I think to help solution with you and create that partnership for a long haul solution I think will create a better outcome in the end as well.

Amit:

That makes sense. I think I have two other topics we should cover. One is, as retail is getting disrupted, it also gives the opportunities, especially in the retail side of it for brands to go direct. So wholesale brands are going direct, and Kelsey, to your point where consumers are open to switching brands or interacting with new brands.

Historically, some brands may have gone through wholesalers, but now this is the opportunity of going direct as well and making themselves available. And the second is that what kind of experiences consumers are expecting, especially interacting with brands in a digital or in store environment going forward.

Whether it is from shipping and delivery, returns, or any kind of virtual makeups. There are other ways that there will be shake out in terms of how consumers will interact with brands directly or go through the department stores or curated platforms. So it will be good to see what you're seeing in those two areas as well.

Brian:

Maybe before we give any specific examples of that, maybe one broad statement to highlight that, I think it's important for our retail community to hear. The number one regret we're hearing from our clients and retail clients in Asia is that when they were where to the U.S. and where much of the Eurozone is right now in the curve, they put 150% of their mind share on solving the here and now, the minute by minute crisis fighting, which makes all the sense in the world and is appropriate given the severity.

But the regret is that they didn't carve out a section of the top team to think about what the other side of the curve might look like and actually how to shape not only the recovery but the next normal, if you want to call it that. And so I think there's at least a calling there to be able to say "Yes, for sure. We need all hands on deck to manage the here and now."

But if there's a way to sever off some capacity to be thinking about when that other moment returns, when that demand signal does pop up — because it will, you will get to the other side of this — what is the post COVID approach across the value chain? And to your question around consumers, it's likely not going to ever be the same it was before.

And so what things will stick? How do we resonate in a world where the consumer is literally, we're in a generation-shaping moment. How do we shape that with you? I think that's the key thing to be thinking about now even as we're going up the curve in many countries.

Amit:

I think so, Brian I think it's worth double-clicking on that. What one or two pointers or guidelines will you give that? Is it just forcing yourself to carve out 10% of your time or few percentage of your team to just come up with a plan or at least start thinking in that? What are the specific guidelines would you give on that topic?

Brian:

I can start, but I definitely don't want to skip your other question because it was as equally good. And Kelsey and Hannah have seen a lot of this too, but just looking at some of our clients in the Asia-Pacific region, I think two or three things we're hearing. Number one is for sure let's find a group of executives who can spend real time thinking about the post-crisis environment and actually helping to plan and prepare for that recovery time, whenever it happens. It's going to happen and we should be aware of it.

And by the way, a lot of that's knowable. If you're in the apparel business, there is going to be the first day we all get to go back to work, the first time we get to go out and do a live event, the first time we get to go on a date. Those are new hallmark moments that we know are going to happen and we can prepare for that as an example. So that's point one, is preparing for the recovery.

Point two is having in place perhaps even new or more granular demand signals so you can catch when that likely demand is starting to come back, ideally before it's too late and being with your consumer in their mindset. And by the way, as we look in China and some of South Korea, it's very interesting to see some of the categories that bounce back right away. There was a latent demand through the shelter mandates.

You can imagine where a lot of us are probably feeling it right now. As soon as we get the chance to go out and have fun again, we may actually go out and want to wear clothes that we didn't own before, or buy makeup we didn't have before. So there is going to be a latent demand here and having that demand signal in place is key. That's the second very specific tactical thing of having your demand signals in place.

And then I do think there's a third thing that is trickier and we're only seeing a couple of clients really be able to have the luxury to think this far ahead, but to really think about this next normal. Yes, we're seeing sticking behavior and online. So of course there's going to be an online.

I think this idea of heartfelt purpose-led branding is going to be a big deal. Consumers are going to remember how brands responded in this moment. It's not going to be a passing time, it's going to stick with them, so how do you take the elements of your brand and really form a value proposition given the situation we're in?

These are the kinds of things that that third horizon, if you want to call it that, we're finding some of the most forward-thinking brands do right now.

Amit:

That's awesome. That's very relevant, how should they be having that framework to start thinking and planning post-crisis.

Brian:

I didn't mean to skip over your other question about in the near term, how do CMOs, how do brands maybe respond to where consumers are at and some of the ideas of what we're seeing around the world. I know Kelsey's been very close to many CMOs who've thought through this. So Kelsey, I don't know if you want to share some thoughts on that one too.

Kelsey:

Yeah. I think in the moment there's a few things really top of mind for the CMOs. One is the idea of, Brian just talked about purposeful brands and what does it mean and what's your value prop coming out? But I think that's even relevant now. So I think first and foremost is what is the way you think about communicating with your customers so that you're on tone and that you come from an authentic place.

That is actually very paramount on every single CMOs mind right now, and rightfully so. It's how we started this conversation today. We're in the middle of the humanitarian crisis. That's the context.

I'd say second to that, there's big shifts in dollars. Again, it somewhat depends on where you are in terms of that demand curve that we talked about a little while ago, but there are meaningful decreases in budgets and there are meaningful shifts in budgets to try to figure out, hey, the media plan and the marketing plan I had two months ago no longer applies. That is no longer how I'm going to both generate demand and capture it, and I need to test into a new playbook.

And so what the leading companies we're seeing do is not just cut some spend to chop some branches off the tree because everyone's tightening the belts a little bit, but actually figuring out how do I rebuild my media plan right now and test into what's working in this new normal? So I'd say that's really the second area.

And then third is — we've talked about it a few times — they're doing that in the context of you have to be so close to the demand signals right now. So literally the granular types of decisions of I'm going to increase my budget and search, but I'm actually going to do it very differentially at a subcategory and product level.

Because again, all of the automated operations of how, especially in digital, this stuff has been running is no longer in tune. It's in a completely different world. And so really digging deep on the third one, and we've talked about that a few times, is not only important now, but in the future too.

Going back to the question also on the horizon, Brian painted on what's next. We did have a really great conversation with some of our leaders in Asia earlier this week and they pointed to a couple things that should be very top of mind. What is the game plan for once stores re-open?

Stores are going to open again, to Brian's point. We're going to have these great moments and these reasons to return to, maybe not full normalcy, but parts of it. And so what is the game plan for how they return and what will the consumer’s experience and expectations be? And they're going to be different.

So a real focus on cleanliness and service. And some things that might be very top of mind for retailers normally, but it's just a different experience and different customer context that you have to be ready for when you're opening your stores again.

Amit:

Yeah, to your point, starting with having that empathy with the consumer and then executing all the way to messaging and cleanliness in stores and making sure that welcoming moment is reflected on who you are as a brand and thinking it through to that reopening moment is really important.

Brian:

It is and I think it's not like when the day the doors are open, I could be wrong, but I wouldn't predict the consumers just flood back in.

Kelsey:

That's right.

Brian:

I think it's almost as if, and by the way in the U.S. in particular, it's probably not all stores that do open. I think we're going to have a rebasing of what the store fleets look like, so you almost need to think about it as grand openings, if you will. Or how do you use those marketing dollars to really be localized to stores that when they do open their doors, there's a reminder of, "Hey, we are here and this is our new model given the world we just walked through together as a community."

And this concept of community connectivity, and then I do think, and Hannah can share more, is what's the future of fulfillment really look like in a world where contactless is now something everybody's opting in for? In a world where maybe 90% of all my decisions will be made online and stores end up being more fulfillment based and perhaps an advisory base for what to buy.

That's the kind of things these kinds of teams need to think through to be ahead of it. I don't know, Hannah, what you'd add to that on the fulfillment side.

Hannah:

There's been constant conversations around speed. That's always been a big portion of how retailers are thinking about their supply chain. But I think ultimately being able to react to what consumer demands are is going to be critical, and then ultimately, how are they going to actually acquire that product?

There's a lot of notions around doing drop-ships directly to consumers even from the vendors versus even going through a DC in terms of really trying to cut down the time in which expectations I think consumers are feeling the lag right now given all of the complexities in the shipping and the demand that there is online is that they're going to want immediacy, especially as things start to reopen.

Consumers really like to touch and feel the products, that's why they still continue to go into the store to this day. So how can you engage with them in different ways and give them more of an endless aisle in-person to really step-change the way that they are shopping and have lacked for such a long time, but then ultimately thinking through, what is the right way to still continue to engage them from a shopping standpoint in a safe and secure way given the new sentiment?

Amit:

These are all tremendously helpful and really critical points where these would make or break companies and create opportunities for brands and retailers in years to come. This has really been very helpful to me and hopefully to our retail community. I know, Brian you mentioned that the McKinsey team is working really hard to capture all these sentiments and putting them up on your website, which retailers can take a look and learn more and see how that could be relevant for them.

So probably we'll share with the group the areas for various topics that they can go and research and reach out to your team whenever is relevant or applicable.

Brian:

That's right on. We’re, as everybody is at this point in time, trying to be as helpful as possible so that we all get through this and we're doing that through what McKinsey does best; data analytics, insights, and trying to provide the retail community as much information as humanly possible.

Amit:

Great. You're the best. Thank you so much, Kelsey, Hannah and Brian for taking the time and sharing your perspective with us. Thank you so much.

Kelsey:

Thanks for having us.


Amit Sharma

Amit is the mastermind behind Narvar and its CEO, drawing from 18 years of experience shaping business operations at companies like Apple and Walmart.

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