Nationwide Marketing Group conducted a quick-turn survey of its membership to try to get a better understanding of how the independent retail channel is responding to and operating through the fast-evolving COVID-19 outbreak. More than 460 members responded to the survey in a 24-hour period, providing the industry’s first glimpse into the independent retail landscape.
Among the key findings from the survey, two-thirds of Nationwide’s members who responded said they plan to maintain normal operating hours. More than half of the dealers reported year-over-year comparable sales that have met or exceeded last year, a figure that comes despite 52% of participating dealers reporting a significant decrease in foot traffic over the past week. On the digital side, 76% of respondents said that online traffic was either steady or up. Only 5% said they have taken the drastic step of completely shutting down their stores.
What’s clear from the survey, though, is that independent retailers are making at least some operational changes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, with the intent of creating an environment that is safe for both customers and employees. Slightly over 95% of dealers who responded reported that they’ve increased cleaning and sanitization processes in-store and with delivery and service teams in the field. Another 21% of participating dealers reported implementing social distancing practices with their internal team and during interactions with customers in-store and in the field. And 20% of dealers who took part in the survey reported implementing new precautionary measures around deliveries, including wearing gloves and shoe covers, mandatory hand sanitizer use and calling customers to ensure no one at the home is sick.
As the COVID-19 outbreak has created an environment of fluidity, Nationwide Marketing Group will continue surveying its members over the next several weeks to track the health of the industry in the face of this pandemic.
The full results of the survey are available on the Nationwide Marketing Group website, and on the regularly-updated Coronavirus Resources page.
About Nationwide Marketing Group: Nationwide Marketing Group works on behalf of thousands of independent appliance, furniture, bedding, electronics, specialty electronics, custom installation and rent-to-own dealers helping them grow their businesses and thrive on their own terms. With more than 5,000 members operating some 14,000 storefronts, Nationwide Marketing Group is the largest buying, marketing and business support organization of its kind, representing billions in combined annual sales across the membership. For nearly 50 years, the organization has remained committed to the independent channel, empowering members with the scale, sophistication and efficiencies they need to compete while delivering the unmatched business intelligence, tools and resources required to win in an ever-changing business environment.