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Retail Survival Tips: Follow Suit and Implement Curbside Pickup

Written by: Lauren Murphy | Student Consultant | B'Comm 2022


The number of orders placed online and picked up at stores by customers has increased by 208% between April 1 and April 20. The increases come as many retail stores have shut their doors to curb the spread of COVID-19. 


As we mentioned in our first blog post of the Retail Survival Tips Series, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose significant disruptions for various retailers in Alberta and beyond. We have seen over the recent months how Edmonton retailers have modified their businesses to allow them to remain open and continue to generate revenue. 


One of the biggest trends is curbside pickup which allows consumers to continue enjoying their favorite retailers such as local restaurants, flower shops, and clothing stores while adhering to social distancing. While many large retail chains like Walmart piloted curbside pickup before the pandemic, smaller-scale retailers have had to fully implement this procedure much quicker in order to remain relevant.

In the future, this could be seen as a benefit to those small businesses that created successful alternatives during COVID-19. By taking their business online they may generate another successful alternative to in-store shopping. By creating a strong online presence, businesses will be able to capture a larger portion of the market by offering an easier and more convenient way to shop. 


How it Works: 

Curbside pickup is an easy and simple way for businesses to remain open during COVID-19. Various retail stores use their websites or outside applications such as Skip the Dishes to offer their products and services to consumers. Consumers can simply go online and place their orders. Then they wait for an email/text confirmation that their order is ready for pickup. Upon arrival, consumers have their ID and confirmation ready. They can call the store and an employee will bring out their order. 


Local Businesses: 

Businesses all over the world are facing the harsh realities of this pandemic and are adjusting their business models to remain open during COVID-19. Now more than ever it is important we as a community support our local businesses during this difficult time. Shop YEG Directory is a website that lists small and medium-sized local businesses that are offering various delivery services during COVID-19. 



For Example, Who Cares Wear is is a clothing, shoes, and accessories boutique that is located in Edmonton. They are offering a team of buyers and stylists to help pick out the perfect wardrobe pieces for you. You can book a private shopping appointment at their various locations or contact them through text, phone, or email to have a virtual shopping experience. 



Examples of Curbside Pickup In Practice:


Be Healthy Pharmacy - They are a locally owned pharmacy on 149th street that offers prescription drug deliveries throughout Edmonton. 


Flirt Cupcakes - Located on Whyte Avenue the cupcake shop offers delivery on cupcake orders of a dozen classic or mini-cupcakes. 


Glass MonkeyCurbside pick-up now available. Order online or phone the restaurant. 


Upper Crust Cafe - Located in Old Strathcona, the cafe currently offers delivery between 1:00 pm-7:00 pm, providing oven-ready or freezer-friendly meals. 


Bloom Cookies - A bakeshop on 124th Street specializes in egg & dairy-free vegan cookies and now offers home delivery. 



Takeaway:


This pandemic has given the push to those consumers who thought they would never use alternative online tools to shop. Consumers have quickly realized how fun, easy, and flexible this method of shopping can be. This pandemic may create a new way of shopping for many consumers. It is important that businesses are willing to be dynamic and open to changes during this time. It is inspiring businesses to think outside the box and come up with creative ways to remain open during COVID-19.



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