There hasn’t been an industry that hasn’t felt the impacts of COVID-19 over the last few months, and retail is certainly no stranger to adapting to the changes. Having to contend with supply chain restrictions, volume limitations, brick-and-mortar stores pretty much being inaccessible to the public, much of consumer retail shopping has gone online, but not yielding the optimal results in terms of sales figures. But things are turning around as retail sales have been increasing and paving the way not just towards economic recovery, but supply chain recovery too.
May Retail Rebound
After months of restrictions, lockdowns, and low sales numbers, the month of May saw overall retail sales grow by 17.7% according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Advanced Retail Trade Survey. Clothing stores saw a month-over-month increase of 188% along with other big increases from furniture stores, sporting goods stores, electronics stores, and bars and restaurants. While this is some long-awaited good news economically, there’s still more work to do to stay on track on the road to recovery.
There is something that has greatly helped this revival of sales and revenue besides public health restrictions being eased gradually. Small businesses have had to improvise to keep their supply chain effective and operating smoothly, and they’ve had to change the way they ship freight and move the products they’ve needed to move. Not only is this piece of good news in the retail industry a sign of consumer confidence coming back to the economy, but it’s also a sign that freight shipping best practices, although changed these last few months, have been adopted to fit the needs of these businesses. But how exactly is this happening?
Retail Shipping Effectiveness
The retail industry can owe its recent successes to a strong shipping and supply chain strategy and are laying the framework for how small businesses and brick-and-mortar locations can move forward. Here’s how they did it:
- Converting Storefronts – Since storefronts haven’t been able to have customers physically come inside to conduct business, many operators have opted to have them as a sort of distribution center so they can handle their inventory and ship it online. Inventory management now remains as simple as can be.
- Going Digital – Implementing or updating online ordering processes has been key. Effective inventory management as mentioned above along with a seamless online shopping experience and engaging in eCommerce and social media has kept businesses in the minds of consumers during a time of need.
- Partnering with a 3PL – Inventory management in distribution centers that were once storefronts and easy online ordering hasn’t been enough. Finding shipping and transportation solutions is tough in uncertain, limited market conditions. A 3PL has a network of carriers and the technology needed to match shipments with lanes that best suit that particular shipment. It’s no wonder that, especially nowadays, shippers and 3PLs are working better together.
Your Retail Shipping Partner
FreightCenter is a 3PL dedicated to helping businesses and individuals alike find the shipping solutions they need. We’ve been helping retail companies and shippers for over 20 years find the right carriers and best rates so they can focus on what matters most, running their business. With a powerful transportation management system (TMS) centralizing your search for freight options and world-class shipping agents guiding you every step of the way, your supply chain can overcome every obstacle it faces today.