Let's roll the clock back to 2001-2002. Here's one example of the hole in demand from September 2001 ... notice that business does rebound. Business does come back.
The challenge we face this time is different.
For many e-commerce businesses, right now it's practically "business as usual". They managed inventory well and some are experiencing sales surges while others are running -10% or -20% ... not great, but manageable.
Retail is a whole 'nuther story. Pretend you are Ann Taylor. Your mall operator shut down your stores. You've got all that inventory sitting there until sometime between mid-May and maybe mid-August. How do you predict how much inventory you need to buy for Fall/Winter? "AI" cannot help you with that one.
When business does come back (and it will), there will be a transition period where stale merchandise has to be sold, typically at fire sale prices. The challenge will be to get through that process with as little damage as possible to an already hobbled p&l before anything else happens.
Our industry is well prepared to handle this transition.
- Baby Boomers have been through numerous challenges and know how manage crisis situations.
- Gen-X leaders survived the dot.com crash and the Great Recession.
- Millennials have operated in an odd business climate for an entire career!
We have the right mix of talent, experience, and modern viewpoints to get through this challenge. Business does come back ... and you are going to be the person who helps bring it back!