Michael Jary: ‘New normal? Retail needs to get used to the new weird’

Michael Jary

Back in March I wrote on Retail Week that coronavirus would bring a tipping point: a permanent change in industry structure. At the time some readers wondered whether I might be hyperbolising. It turns out I hardly knew the half of it.

Now that it’s clear the crisis will continue for at least six more months, or maybe beyond next year, even a ‘new normal’ looks hopeful. We should get used to the new weird.

Essentially, we are seeing a redefinition of time and place. To illustrate this, try drawing three pie charts: how did you spend your waking hours last year and now, and how do you think it will be by 2022?

Split your time into six places: home, work/school, retail, eating out, leisure and travel. For the moment ‘home’ has grown massively and the other five have shrunk and changed beyond recognition. 

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