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Easter, which falls on the 12th of April, is an important holiday for businesses. In 2019, Americans spent $18.1 billion on Easter-related items. In the UK, the amount was just over a billion for the same period.
And buying isn’t just limited to good old chocolate eggs. During the run-up to the big day, shoppers are eager to get their hands on a whole range of products, including greeting cards, flowers, food, decorations and more.
But the coronavirus crisis is having a significant negative impact on sales this year. Nation-wide lockdowns mean that people are unable to go to the shops, gather for festivities, and exchange gifts. Some stores have even been instructed not to sell Easter eggs because they’re classed as non-essential items.
These difficult circumstances have prompted businesses to take a different approach. And many have come up with clever new strategies to limit losses and make the most of the Easter holiday.
Here are five ways that businesses are adapting to the restrictions and low demand that the coronavirus crisis has caused:
1. Focusing on Online Sales
Most governments, especially in Europe and North America, have imposed restrictions on non-essential brick-and-mortar stores, which includes chocolate shops. Consequently, consumers have moved online in huge numbers.
To take advantage of this online surge, many retailers have focused on their online operations, providing consumers with a range of promotions and speedy delivery options. Nike, for example, has offered shoppers 25% off everything on its site. And many companies are waiving shipping fees.
2. Giving Away Surplus Stock
Lower overall demand has meant that many retailers and manufacturers have been left with surplus stock. But rather than let perishable goods like sweets go to waste, companies are offering them for free. And they’re being applauded for it in the media.
Digby Eddison, of Digby’s Fine Chocolates, has decided to give away his excess Easter eggs, thus turning an unfortunate situation into an opportunity to help others and receive some positive publicity in the process. Kinnerton, a chocolate firm in Norfolk, UK, also chose to give unsold eggs to medical workers for free.
3. Streamlining Product Ranges
As e-commerce purchases have boomed, some retailers have found themselves unprepared to meet the increased online demand.
Furthermore, disrupted supply chains, badly-affected delivery services, lower numbers of factory workers and inefficiency due to on-site safety measures, have all made it difficult to fulfil orders. As a result, many online stores have limited their product lines to the most in-demand items.
This is what Hotel Chocolat has done to deal with the heightened demand and reduced numbers of staff in its factories. It’s offering a limited range of Easter eggs so that it can continue to successfully cater to its customers.
4. Hosting “Virtual” Easter Events
The fact that gatherings are banned doesn’t mean that people can’t get together and have fun. A whole host of organizations that rely on group activities, like yoga studios, gyms, and universities have gone online to offer virtual classes. One group of apartment-block residents even organized an “isolation disco”.
But How Does This Relate to Easter?
One company in Knoxville is running “The Egg-travagant Easter Drive-Thru”, allowing customers to enjoy festivities from their cars. Drivers will pass through an exhibition tent, where the Easter bunny will wave to them.
As coronavirus continues to take its toll, it’s likely that businesses will come up with new, creative ways to organize events and activities, especially online.
Learn to Turn Crisis Into Opportunity at EU Business School
A career in the corporate sector is an exciting and challenging prospect. And the tumultuous events of the last few weeks have illustrated that true business leadership calls for creative and flexible responses to unforeseen circumstances.
At EU Business School, we understand that crisis management is an essential business skill and all our programs take this fact into account. If you’re contemplating a career in business, take a look at our extensive range of bachelor’s programs and our specialized MBAs.