Retail has always been able to reshape and redefine itself. Whether our industry is responding to new technology or customers’ changing needs, a new normal repeatedly emerges – and the COVID-19 crisis is no different.
A lot has changed since we heralded our 2020 NRF theme, “Moments that inspire”, back in January. This theme is even more relevant now as we reconsider what it truly important to us. We’re feeling more inspired than ever as we look across our industry and witness so many things that make us proud.
While some retailers are having to make big changes to help their customers shop safely and protect their employees, most are navigating the unprecedented challenge of operating a business during a global shutdown. This will continue to evolve even more as different corners of the world start to consider and execute the complex process of reopening. During this unprecedented crisis, we’re witnessing inspiring moments across retail every day. Inspiration didn’t start with this health event, but it does resonate through it in so many ways. Here are just a few things that we’re witnessing that inspire us:
Retail workers and the communities they serve: From retail employees in the supply chain and in-store associates working to keep inventory on the shelves, and our frontline workers who are working tirelessly to keep stores and systems up and running, we are so grateful for these essential workers. We are living through a challenging time. However, retail, when it is at its best, not only serves the basic needs of our communities but it also helps people feel good. Whether a customer has just gotten a great deal on a pantry staple or found the first aid supplies they need to take care of their loved ones, people rely on retailers and store associates to help them feel prepared and safe. Keep it up, we’re inspired by the hard work and commitment we’re witnessing all around us.
Agile innovation and new insights: COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way retail stores operate. It has presented a new set of challenges, resulting in new opportunities to meet and exceed shoppers’ needs and it has been amazing to watch how fast retail has pivoted and responded. Retail workers and retailers are stepping up in major, caring, and compassionate ways, and have moved quickly to make sure they can continue to serve their communities and stay safe. We’re inspired by the ways businesses and retailers have adapted to this crisis and are working on building and reinforcing the systems that they need to support the new normal. We’re also excited to see how our industry adapts previous ideas to support shoppers’ needs and what new concepts and ideas will become part of normal shopping journeys.
“'Moments that inspire' is about what real people in the retail industry are doing every day,” Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, Vice President of Marketing, Fredrik Carlegren said. “Their commitment and work keep us inspired. We are passionate about retail and are eager to do our part to serve the people on the front lines who keep retail moving. Our employees and customers, with their enthusiasm and commitment to this industry, will redefine the future of retail."
Amidst this period of change, we remain committed to empowering retailers to create moments that inspire: moments that inspire retailers to better understand their customers, moments that inspire associates to provide personalized customer service and moments that inspire shoppers to feel comfort, ease and everything in between. We are working to create a world in which customers can shop and know their needs will be met – even if those needs change each time they visit. We will be working to support retailers as they keep their communities well-stocked and stay safe at home. You’ll continue to see more of what inspires us as we work to safely create a new normal, filled with moments that we think will inspire all of us.