Supermarkets across the country are bracing for a potential steep increase in demand later this week, as the British public will prepare to enjoy increased freedoms following the Prime Minister’s announcement of lockdown easing this past weekend.
Boris Johnson announced yesterday that from Wednesday, the British public will be able to spend unlimited time in public spaces and parks, not only to exercise, but also for leisure. With temperatures climbing and a partial relaxation of restrictions, supermarkets are likely to see a huge rush on a variety of outdoor products and certain foods, as thousands of frustrated shoppers stock up on products to get the most out of the new found freedom in the sun.
This potential rush puts supermarkets under considerable pressure, as stores will not only have to ensure they are fully stocked and able to cater to demand, but will also experience further difficulty ensuring that social distancing measures are kept in place amidst mounting queues and slowing rates of circulation in-store.
Will Broome, Founder of retail shopping app Ubamarket, discusses the challenges faced by Britain’s supermarkets amidst the easing of the lockdown restrictions, and offers insight into how they can better prepare for the oncoming increase in demand:
“The easing of lockdown restrictions is fantastic news for the millions of people across the UK who are frustrated and desperate to spend more time outside, and it also represents a fantastic opportunity for supermarkets, convenience stores and grocers everywhere to enjoy more business in this difficult time.
However, with the easing of lockdown restrictions comes higher demand, as more and more people will be looking to make more frequent visits to their local store to stock up on food and goods in preparation for unlimited time in parks, beaches and public spaces. As a result of increased demand on products and higher numbers of people wanting to shop in-store, supermarkets and stores across Britain face significant challenges. Stock levels, speed of in-store circulation and pressure to maintain social distancing even amidst extensive queues and customer dissatisfaction are all issues which stores must be prepared to face.
One way that supermarkets and local stores could alleviate this pressure and successfully prepare for the new conditions would be to implement technology-based solutions. Retail technology, particularly mobile-based tech such as apps, will help supermarkets to face each and every challenge posed by the easing of the restrictions. Implementing solutions such as Ubamarket, which provides features such as aisle sat-nav, remote stock-checking, scan as you shop and till-less checkout, can dramatically reduce time spent in-store, cut-down on queue lengths, and ultimately make the shopping experience far more efficient and safe for customers”.