Whether your business is experiencing a time of problem or opportunity, the best you can do is work your current situation and plan for when the height of the pandemic passes.

As coronavirus (COVID19) fears to intensify and people continue to take more precautions, the retail industry continues to grapple with the issue, more so on how it will impact the future of business. The disruptions caused by the virus are already apparent across many industries, including the retail sector.

As the world struggles to curb its spread, this industry will have to prepare for any developments as the effects are almost imminent. Here are a few ways the virus will impact retailers.

Supply chain disruptions 

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, there have been rising concerns about the impact it will have on the supply chain. So far, global companies such as Amazon are already feeling the heat as they continue to face numerous challenges in importing goods into the country. Berkeley Research Group revealed that by early February, 9 percent of container shipping fleets were not operational. This means that companies that depend on overseas production will suffer the most.

Avoiding brick and mortar stores    

As the virus continues to spread, many people are hesitant to visit crowded places, which in turn is affecting traffic in many retail stores. A survey conducted by Coresight showed that a quarter of US citizens are limiting their visits to retail stores while 58 percent say they will do the same if the virus gets out of hand.

Research also shows that shopping centers and malls are likely to be the most affected once the outbreak becomes full-blown. Since retail stores depend on traffic to increase sales, they are bound to see a significant decline until the virus is contained.

Aggressive shopping 

Retail stores are seeing a rise in aggressive shopping as people rush to stockpile essentials such as food and medicine. Mass merchants like Walmart and Target have confirmed that they have seen a sudden and sharp increase in the number of shoppers, which is expected to drop over the coming months.

Plan Ahead

Just like all other industries, the retail industry is also vulnerable to the new COVID19. Not a lot of brands had planned for a global pandemic. But, a great many brands, both small and large, do have crisis management or business continuity plans in place and they are being put into good effect right now. Crisis management plans are relevant for any crisis, be it a natural disaster or other. If you don’t have a crisis plan created (and updated on a regular basis), you’re learning a difficult lesson in one of the hardest ways imaginable.

Learn from your current situation and experience and adequately prepare yourself for the future.

Good luck, and stay safe and healthy.