Reflections and Predictions on Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Retailing

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: The Covid-19 pandemic has a strong effect on societies, business and consumers. Governments have taken measures to reduce the spread of the pandemic, such as social distancing and lock-downs. The latter has also resulted in temporary closure of physical stores for ‘non-essential’ retailing. Covid-19 thus has a profound impact on how people live. The period of relative isolation, social distancing and economic uncertainty changes the way we behave. New consumer behaviors span all areas of life, from how we work to how we
shop to how we entertain ourselves. These shifts have important implications for retailers. This paper discusses potential structural effect on shopping behavior and retailing when Covid-19 measures are no longer needed and society moves back to a normal situation.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper synthesizes empirical and conceptual literature on the consequences of COVID-19 and introduces a conceptual framework along with a set of predictions that can be investigated with empirical data.

Findings: We suggest that Covid-19 shapes both consumer needs and behavior and how retailers respond to these changes. Moreover, we suggest that this will affect market outcomes (i.e. retail sales, market share online), but also firm outcomes (i.e. customer experience, firm sales) and importantly the competition between online and offline retailers.

Originality/value: In our conceptual framework, we aim to advance knowledge on longer-term outcomes (vs immediate outcomes such as panic buying) and how COVID-19 is changing the competitive landscape of retail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-293
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1-Mar-2023

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