Executive Summary

The spread of COVID-19 and ensuing isolation measures has led to a drastic shift in consumer demand that is presenting huge challenges to retailers. For many retailers, forced shop closures and cautious consumer spending has led to a significant downturn in demand for non-essential items resulting in a massive surplus of inventory. Conversely, essential items such as food and medical supplies have seen unprecedented spikes in demand resulting in significant out-of-stock scenarios.

As such, the retail industry is scrambling to address an inventory imbalance by slowing down the production and delivery of low demand goods while simultaneously increasing the production and delivery of high demand goods. At the same time, global supply chains remain heavily disrupted with limited and changing transport options, acute staff shortages, economic uncertainty, and suppliers operating beneath capacity.

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