This article was first published on September 1, 2020.
Editor's note: Oliver Wyman is monitoring the COVID-19 events in real time, and we have compiled resources to help our clients and the industries they serve. Please continue to monitor the Responding To Coronavirus Hub for updates.
China retail market has entered a new era with decelerated overall growth, and the COVID-19 has hit it further harder. This turbulent situation is going to trigger / accelerate structural changes in channel dynamics and consumer shopping behaviour, and China market is now entering the “Post-COVID Normal”.
With the macro environment and consumer behaviour changing so dramatically and quickly, many ambitious retailers have sensed the opportunity to win in the post-COVID normal. However this will never be an easy task as they need a next-generation expansion strategy. It must clearly define the right balance between existing & new stores, high & low tier cities, and core & new store formats, at super granular level. Many companies find it difficult to do so as it requires huge amount of market & consumer data from multiple dimensions, analytical approach that can generate business insights, and effective tools to guide internal communication & implementation. As a result, they may either spend months developing the strategy and then find competitor has been already ahead of them or have big disconnection between strategy development and implementation.
Over the years, we have developed a unique analytical approach, combined with OW proprietary database and digital tool to help develop & implement expansion strategy. We have equipped many retailers in China market with 3 core capabilities:
- Clear visibility of MARKET POTENTIAL (both online and offline) on multiple-dimensions and at a super granular level
- Deep understanding of latest nuance in CONSUMER TREND & PREFERENCE at different places, powered by our social listening technique
- Forward looking view of the RETAIL SITE quality, fit, and potential to guide strategy development & implementation, enabled by our BlueSpider geospatial analytical tool
With these 3 key capabilities, it will be much more efficient and accurate for retailers to develop offline expansion strategy to win in the post-COVID new normal, to develop new store formats that catering to the needs of consumers, and to make the right decision for store network rationalization. Our unique offerings make life easier for both senior executives and frontline execution team.