Managed change

Peter Huskins

This is my first 360 article for 2021. Covid-19 only added and deepened the uncertainty that overshadowed 2020, making this a tumultuous and anxious start to the year for many.

From ShopAbility Director Peter Huskins.

At the time of writing, Sydney's northern beaches have ended their lockdown and the uncertainty in Covid has developed into other hotspots of fire around Sydney, Wollongong, Orange, Broken Hill and now Western Australia, Victoria and Queensland, among others.

There is still uncertainty as to whether the rules will be relaxed to allow travel within and outside of different states. Or the consistency of interpretation and application between the individual states.

Or relaxation of the rules regarding the number of customers and the relevant seating arrangements in food service outlets.

Or whether these outbreaks will be something we will have to deal with until we are under some control of Covid.

This control will most likely also result in further changes in the way we shop, and not just with the recent switch to online and click-and-collect. I'm talking about other changes that will be hardwired for current and future customers as we address a number of outbreaks and learn more about how best to contain Covid transmissions across the community and individually.

It is amusing to see the accusatory and personal comments on social media about "solutions" to Covid. These are the same people who are part of the buying community and will have a huge impact on changing consumer behavior.

It's a year that changed the way many of these shoppers buy groceries, alcohol, gifts, furniture, hardware, automobiles, and new clothes and furniture.

Customers now want to shop in a more Covid-safe way, and especially in this very uncertain year, retailers have consistently shown how adaptable they are, using the digital tools and multi-channel strategies that have recently become mainstream to serve their customers with more flexible, convenient and advanced services.

I co-wrote an article with Kelly Slessor, CEO of ShopYou, about the future of customer engagement in the January-February issue of Retail World. Some of you may know Kelly from her work in retail in the digital and e-commerce space, or as the founder and CEO of Shop You, an innovative online platform that curates your preferences and connects you with brands that suit your size, style and size Other bespoke requirements match your size. Kelly brings all of her experience and skills to bear in a must-read article to get the year off to an insightful start.

I'll end this 360 with an amusing photo I recently took in one of our favorite Sydney supermarkets.

Having products advertised to aid price perception / positioning and attract / seduce buyers is one thing, but taking it to extremes is another.

I insist that this sea of ​​tickets only confuses and confronts buyers and only the brave among us would really “buy in” this category.

And then there is the question of the price-performance ratio for the various suppliers who finance this …

About Peter Huskins

Peter Huskins is a career retailer well known and recognized in the Australian FMCG industry. With extensive experience in department stores, DDS, spirits and supermarkets, he has worked with suppliers and retailers for more than 10 years to develop business, category, customer and channel strategies and competitive differentiation.

For more information call Peter on 0412 574 793 or send an email to

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