3 Ways UK’s Retail Industry Will Change With COVID-19 – What to Know

With the COVID-19 pandemic making its apparent impact on the operations of British businesses every day, many business owners are in a steady waiting game for everything to go back to normal. 

While it may be human instinct to be as optimistic as possible in such dire times, the unseen force that the country is dealing with has been dubbed as the worst to hit companies in human history. This is to the point that things may not be “normal” anymore once they’re over. 

For retail businesses, it’s safe to say that the old normal may never come back again as COVID-19 has refined the way consumers act (and how they will act in the future). As more and more customers maintain a growing aversion towards physical contact, the traditional structure of retail businesses and their reliance on foot traffic is bound to undergo a massive change.

If you currently run a retail business and are looking to get ahead of the ambiguity that looms over the industry itself, here are three aspects of the “new normal” you should get familiar with:

The rise of e-commerce 

Given the advent of modern, digitally-driven technology, it’s clear that the e-commerce industry holds ground as the primary mover of the modern economy. 

In place of regular retail shops, expect to see e-commerce businesses and online shops become the face of the retail scene going forward. The market share for this particular aspect is set to expand even more dramatically in the coming months as more and more UK shoppers are inclined to take their shopping online!

Debt will become even more deadly.

The pandemic has caused a massive barrier in the cash flows of many businesses, meaning that those struggling with too much debt before the lockdown are bound to crash.

Despite the sombre tone it carries, the healthcare crisis conditions pose an end to knee-deep businesses, at the very least in liabilities. Know that many retailers are also bound to see their demise as a result of financial mismanagement, which is a clear indication that there will be less competition for those who manage to stay afloat. 

Drastic changes to supply chain management

Another vital factor to look at when looking at how the new normal for the UK’s retail industry is going to be is the underlying changes taking place in its supply chains. 

When combined with logistical challenges, Coronavirus-related complications, and tariffs, it’s safe to assume that the current supply situation of the UK’s retail businesses is at risk. Seeing the current situation posed by the virus, companies must now seek safer and more convenient, albeit expensive ways to move their sources from one nation to another. 

The bright side of the current situation is that businesses will now have the necessary motivating force to start looking for different ways to improve their existing supply chain management strategies in the long run.


Despite growing optimism that life will go back to normal after COVID-19, the truth is that the virus may have eradicated that possibility entirely, and this is a truth that is especially apparent for UK retail businesses. By noting the changes that are about to happen, however, you can stay ahead of the curve and make sure that your company is ready to turn the tides and set yourself apart from the competition!

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