Coronavirus and retail

Coronavirus and retail: are you a brand to boycott?


Will you still have customers post coronavirus?

For some brands the answer may be no.

In the past few days and weeks we’ve seen countless brands and retailers respond to the impact of COVID-19 in different ways – some good and others bad.

We’re not the only ones to have noticed. Customers are paying close attention to your actions as well and they don’t always like what they see.

And they’re sharing it with others.

As well as social media (the new word of mouth), there is now more than one website which is gathering evidence of different businesses responses to coronavirus and giving them a score – green for good, yellow for mixed and red for bad.

If you haven’t already seen them then now is the moment of truth for your brand:

• Did They Help?

• Lewis Cotter


Because if you’ve been given a red label, you’re now considered a brand to boycott. That’s not just right now, but post coronavirus as well.




Some of you might be shrugging now. Maybe you doubt the conviction of the average shopper. Maybe you think that the kudos of your brand will bring them back regardless. Maybe you think you can entice them with deals. Maybe you think they’ll forget about it.

That may be true. People are fickle after all. But if we’re playing the maybe game, maybe they will follow through. It doesn’t even have to be all of them. Can your business comfortably survive with a 2% drop in customers? How about 10%? 20%? What about 50%?

What if half of the people who shop with you now never spent another penny with you? Can you shrug that off? Not to mention all the potential future customers who may now take their business elsewhere.

If your brand isn’t already listed on these sites don’t just breathe a sigh of relief. Now is the time to think about where it would sit: How do the actions that you’ve taken reflect on you as a business? Are you someone customers still want to do business with?

We’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again – the impact of the actions you take now on your reputation will last longer than coronavirus. That goes for both good and bad.

While there are some inevitably hard decisions having to be made, it’s vital that you weigh up the long-term impact on your business as well as the short-term.

Afterall, it’s not going to mean a whole lot if you come out the other side without any customers.


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