The “new normal” are two words to which we are already accustomed to listening to, but we have not yet managed to fully adapt to them.
These two words tell us that our world will definitely be different from the one we knew before Covid-19. A new era begins and everything will change.
Going through the supermarkets with the cart tasting the products from the salad bar, soups, free samples, as well as touching the products from the fruit and vegetable section, all that is history and no longer the norm.
The New Normal
The new normal will be rapid and radical.
It’s changed all human behavior in just a few months, and both supermarkets and food, in general, was not the exception.
Our consumption habits will not change so drastically as long as the current restrictions are present (it is estimated that we will have a vaccine for next year), although a large part of these restrictions will remain for a long time.
Customers have always loved visiting stores to make their purchases and to socializing by meeting friends, interact with associates, spend long periods of time in our cafeterias … all this has also ended, and therefore, will affect the design of supermarkets.
Understanding the Changes
Retail supermarket professionals must understand the changes as well!
The plastic screens in front of the cash registers, sanitation at the entrances, antimicrobial belts, hand sanitizing stations, are here to stay.
Businesses are also working around this new normal. On the store shelves, we will see more prepackaged products for sanitation purposes. Stores will be forced to widen their aisles for social distancing between customers, and the means of contactless payment will also be expanding.
As for our relationships with suppliers, negotiations, and monitoring of the metrics of our supermarkets, we can affirm that we will stay with the new normal. We will keep the meetings and sessions completely online through the communication technologies that have come to stay and evolve more and more.
Some chains have invested in the so-called “dark stores“, which are physical premises where customers only come with their vehicles to collect their purchases made online.
In this “new normal” many of the so-called Retail experts argue that hundreds of physical stores will be closed throughout our nation and that only those who are migrating to the online channel will have a choice for the future.
I want to tell you that I continue to question those claims. The issue is not in closing the physical space and going digital, but in maintaining the balance between the two and strengthening total security in physical stores to earn loyalty from our customers.
It is impossible to imagine a city without shops, restaurants, bookstores, without hotels, cinemas, bars. It is not possible, although the experts of the new normal assure it.