It has been more than a year since the Covid-19 pandemic brought our daily lives to a screeching halt. As vaccinations are distributed across the country, we are all starting to feel a new sense of hope and excitement that the end of this unexpectedly long journey may be coming to an end. During this time, the retail industry has made great strides in transforming the lessons learned into strategic plans and actions. Some brands and retailers are still figuring out the best way to avoid the kind of supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic in the future.
In 2020, shoppers, retailers and brands suffered alike through meaningful product availability issues, driving out-of-stocks at the shelf for extended periods in key categories. Product supply issues combined with changes in shopper behavior have created dynamics that stretch the flexibility of traditional supply chains.
Simplifying the supply chain
In response to these disruptions, some brands chose to shift and simplify their SKU assortments to allow for a more efficient supply chain. By halting production on less popular items, brands were able to free up shelf and warehouse space for their best sellers, simplifying the manufacturing process and better supporting shopper demand at the shelf.