Tomorrow’s Warehouse: Analysis
some level and so this is already the ‘new normal’, but as
customers come back on stream, they will face the
challenges of gearing up to manage increased volumes,
while observing required health and safety guidelines.'
As we said in our introduction, retail is a sector that has
been impacted severely. Some of the numbers are
staggering. Primark is estimated to have lost £800m due
to the pandemic, being hit particularly hard by its lack
of online presence. According to the Office for National
Statistics internet sales accounted for 32.8% of total
retail sales in May 2020. It is usually around 20%.
'Even if you are still operating an omni-channel
business, the percentage split is likely to change,' says
eCommerce has long been an accelerator in
warehouse development, and the pandemic has further
increased its importance, as physical retail came to a
virtual halt for a significant period. We asked readers if
post-crisis, eCommerce will continue to grow faster
than before or fall back to its previous level of growth?
Most of our respondents felt a tipping point has been
reached here, with 48% feeling eComm will continue to
grow faster after the crisis has passed. 23% answered it
would fall back, with 29% unsure.
One respondent says ‘spending and shopping habits
may change forever’ but is ‘unsure where the level will
be’. Another respondent says ‘online ordering and food
deliveries will undoubtedly increase thus putting more
pressure on warehousing space, however, if we enter
recession this might not happen’. Some believe
eCommerce will grow faster than before because
‘people have embraced technology’.
On the other hand, another respondent says ‘it will
continue to grow but only in line with pre-Covid-19
trends, a degree of plateauing will be reached but not
Gary Twynholm, global logistics manager at omni-channel
retailer Mountain Warehouse adds: 'Our stores
Is data the new money?
What to do with the economy post-Covid? Get rid of it,
says Andy Mulcahy, founder of the Post-Economic
Institute, but far from a call to mere anarchy he is
questioning many underlying assumptions about our
‘That something rather radical needs to happen with
economics is self-evident,’ he says. ‘Covid has ravaged
the economy. Were this a one-off, being radical might
seem a bit unnecessary. But for as long as anyone can
remember, we have been in a cycle of boom and bust
climaxing – or so we assumed – in the market crash of
2008 and decade of austerity which followed. That may
end up seeming somewhat tame by comparison with
what follows this’.
Basically Andy thinks we don’t need money anymore,
not now we have useful data in such abundance.
‘Money is no longer as important because
technology makes the determination of value far more
complex. For the first time in history we understand – in
detail and at scale – the value created before, during
and after any interaction between individual and
business,’ he says.
Andy’s thought provoking analysis seeks to make this
the starting point to a more logical future, where data
demonstrating better outcomes, rather than money
(and desires), determines spending and therefore
behaviour and production to a greater extent.