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Heading towards the new normal

Leading retailers are already predicting changes to customer behaviour beyond the lockdown period. These will clearly be affected by aspects of consumer demand, like what we wear for work in the future, but also by buying behaviour and our collective adoption of digital channels and enthusiasm (or otherwise) for visiting stores. Will people revert to analogue channels or will the digital acceleration we have witnessed be maintained? The answer to this question will massively affect the choices firms need to make for their digital strategies for the re-start.

My colleague Matt Clark recently highlighted some of the challenges any shift towards a more digital approach will face in his article 'Digital downsides - the cost of online channel growth in retail'.

Customers "may never shop the same way again" after the coronavirus crisis, Marks and Spencer's boss has said. "Whilst some customer habits will return to normal others have changed forever," Steve Rowe said The virus had driven changes, including a shift to online shopping and accelerating a change to how customers used High Street stores, he said.