retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

There was a good piece from Axios the other day that illuminated a real opportunity for retailers are we move forward through the pandemic.

The problem:  "We have pandemic hair. Distressed skin. Emotional turmoil and existential fear about the gruesome drumbeat of news. And we're sitting around in our shabby wardrobes feeling lonesome from the requisite social distancing."  The fact is that "the social and psychological toll of COVID-19 - which comes at the same time that our nation is pursuing its all-important quest for racial justice - is affecting our physical and mental health."

Put bluntly, "We don't feel good. Various polls tell us things that we already know, like that we are scared about getting coronavirus, concerned for our family members and so forth.  Big negative events - like pandemics and major disasters - are correlated with increased use of tobacco and alcohol, which in turn correlate with more violence, says Dr. Joshua Morganstein of the American Psychiatric Association."

Which struck me as both a problem and an opportunity … because food retailers are ideally positioned to start addressing these issues and help their shoppers get through them.

This is a good time, both in customer communications and in-stores, for retailers to talk openly about how self-care, especially as it relates to what we eat and drink, can help us feel better even when we're stressed.

These messages can be cheerful, aspirational.  Provocative without being preachy.  

The goal should be simple:  Communicate with shoppers in a way that reinforces the notion that the store is on their side.  It could, for everyone involved, be an Eye-Opener.