Reopening But at a Cost
Could there be a creative boom?
June 1st is quickly approaching. The past three months seem to have flown by. We have witnessed an unprecedented shift in the way we interact with each other, our buying habits, the way we do business, and how businesses are run. Not only does Monday mark the beginning of a new month but also the beginning of the government allowing businesses to reopen. Governments allowing businesses to reopen – what an odd statement that is. However, that is a topic for another day. Right now, the focus is on the unintended cost to businesses and the new realities they face.
Paying a higher price
Even though many businesses will reopen on Monday, reopening means different things to different businesses. There are a host of new restrictions that businesses will have to abide by if they want to reopen. Businesses will have to take extra steps to ensure their customers feel safe and confident that they are not going to become ill after visiting their store.
There are a number of considerations businesses will have to think about if they are planning to reopen starting in June.
- How are these restrictions going to affect productivity?
- What will be the extra cost of keeping work areas sanitized?
- How will only allowing in a fraction of the number of customers affect my bottom line?
- Will I be able to rehire everyone back?
For the businesses that have already reopened, we have seen plexiglass dividers installed, markers on the floor to keep customers two meters away from each other, and restrictions on how many patrons are allowed in a shop or restaurant at one time. As customers, we see these changes added to our favourite businesses and are happy they can open, but there are real-world costs that will be ultimately passed down to us consumers. At the end of the day, someone will have to pay for the extra cleaning costs, masks, and plexiglass dividers. Very few businesses will absorb the extra cost, which means you can expect to be paying more for goods and services in the coming months as restrictions begin to be lifted.
Creating a short term creativity boom
Another unintended cost for brick and mortar businesses as they start reopening in June will be the need to create social distancing signage. There could be a creative boom, as businesses spend money with designers and print shops to create new signage for their stores. Many brands are being forced to pivot their products and services to stay competitive and are facing an increased need for new marketing materials. Great for the designers and print shops, but at an increased cost to business owners.
The next couple of months will be interesting to see how reopening plays out in different industries. We will get to see businesses find new ways to reach their audience. Unfortunately, we will also see the demise of brands that are not able to cope with the new reality. Hopefully, businesses will learn to adapt rather than close their doors like Vancouver’s Army & Navy has had to do.
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