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Excerpt from webinar, Retail Location Strategy in a COVID-19 World, on May 13, 2020

Recalibrate: Impact of Omnichannel on Location Modelling

Devon Wolfe – Senior Vice President of Analytics, Tango:

“Omnichannel is more important than ever before. And one of the things about that is that retailers have had a strong omnipresence where they’ve been selling both through bricks and mortar and through their website are much more insulated to the problems because they’re able to keep that customer and be able to really have more than one way to serve that customer.

“What we’ve found in our practice has been that omnichannel and bricks and mortar for retailers are very complementary. The internet tends to go up when you put a store in a trade area and that tends to work together. And that’s going to be even more so. It right now is serving often as a substitute channel for those who can’t reopen or are reopening under limited conditions or for those customers certainly who just are not comfortable going back out. And it will continue to be that way through the reopening period.

“But the other thing that I think we’re going to see is competitive dynamics are going to be rearranged. As certain stores are going to be closing and opening, omnichannel is going to change. Where now you see people who don’t have an alternative, they’ll go to somebody who’s got a website or a web presence. Then the other thing that you’re going to see is that it’s really going to affect the way that you plan out markets because you might not need as many stores. So omnichannel is going to figure very big into the modeling equation, and we’re going to be doing a lot of recalibrating.

“Certainly, one of the things we’ve been doing in forecasting for a number of years is putting out a forecast for the internet channel as well as bricks and mortar on a brick and mortar forecast. Those relationships are going to have changed and it’ll be very interesting to see which retailers have done well with that.”

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