Executive summary

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the images of empty supermarket shelves highlighted the limitations of just-in-time supply chains, but how did retailers really fare in the face of the crisis? Even before the arrival of the virus supply chains had been in transition, impacted by a range of factors such as changing consumer preferences, evolving trade conditions or increased pressure around sustainability ‒ requirements which have forced retailers to rethink their procurement strategy. However, general preparedness seems to be lacking. According to a global survey of supply chain executives conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, retail sector respondents are less likely to agree that their organisation reacts well to disruptions in the supply chain than their counterparts in the lifestyle and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sectors.

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