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The impact of COVID-19 is huge especially under retail industry. Majority of the organizations throughout the world are experiencing difficulties in pursuing their objectives and attract customers. Businesses like restaurants, supermarkets etc. faced major problems as citizens were not allowed to roam outside their residential area. The pandemic created an unwanted panic among the citizens who are now hesitating to purchase anything from outside and dine out with friends and family. Moreover, the following study would highlight the problems experienced by Tesco plc which is one of the biggest supermarkets of United Kingdom. Thus, different management strategies would also be discussed to overcome this pandemic problem and ensure survival of the enterprise in the changing economy.
Since no one predicted about the COVID-19, scientistsare yet to confirm about the lasting of this virus while the vaccination would be available only by the second half of the next year. Even though citizens are now being allowed to roam outside their residential area, they have to take all the precautions such as sanitizer, masks, social distancing etc. In the opinion of (Heand Harris, 2020), lack of attention and research about COVID-19 would negatively affect the working environment of the retail organizations. Further, in the words of (Seetharaman, 2020), the financial and non-financial impact of COVID-19 would stay for a longer period and business would need at least five years to recover from the losses. Moreover, in the words of (Kooij,2020), proactive planning and productive strategies are required to consistently fight with the challenges arising due to COVID-19 in the marketplace. Thus, potential mixture of in-depth research along with different inbound and outbound logistics are required to sail through this tough time and attract customers in the marketplace.
In the opinion of (McKibbinand Fernando, 2020), low inventory and storage expenditure is essential to tolerate the risks arising due to the presence of COVID-19. In the words of (Xiong et al., 2020), the entire perception of customers towards marketplace has changed due to COVID-19 and it would stay like this for much longer period of time. Since the symptoms of COVID-19 are different in nature, companies irrespective of their industry is experiencing similar kind of financial and non-financial problems. Moreover, in the opinion of (), optimum utilization of resources and extensive research is required to cope up with the challenges arising in the economy due to COVID-19 so to secure the survival of the enterprise in the marketplace.
Due to COVID-19, the working environment or operational activities of Tesco plc is comprised of following problems or issues:
Initially, each and every country experienced complete lockdown of every state which included complete closure ofthe trading and business units. The lockdown was operational for two to three months as a result of which the business of Tesco plc was critically hampered. Further, the government executed some restrictions regarding the working hours of the supermarket which further created more contingencies for the enterprise.
Fear of the customers:
Apart from the interference of the government, the current economy is experiencing huge change in the purchasing habits of the customers. After studying about the situation of Italy, none of the citizens were encouraged to move out of their houses and make the required purchases. Due to this fear, customers are not willing to visit restaurants or supermarkets and staying back in their home surviving through home food.
Inventory and storage costs:
Due to complete lockdown for several months, the inventory and storage costs of Tesco plc increased with no additional revenue. This increased the operational expenditure of the enterprise and decreased the profitability of the organization in the marketplace (Haleem et al., 2020).
Figure 1: Crisis due to COVID-19
Loss of products:
Since the business was non-operational for more than two months, the validity of several products expired even before they are sold to the external customers. Due to this, Tesco plc experienced huge loss which makes it even more difficult for the enterprise to survive this pandemic problem.
No assistance from government:
The government did not support the business enterprise by extending any kind of grants, loans or subsidies. Further, the government introduced several terms and conditions for business organizations to follow in order to stay active in the marketplace.
Loss of employees:
Due to lockdown and complete closure of business organizations, several employees were shifted to their native place resulting in loss of skilled workers. Further, in order to reduce the operational expenditure, several workers were terminated from their position without any prior intimation as a result of which the unemployment problem is increasing in the economy (Talevi et al., 2020).
In order to overcome the above-mentioned problems, the management team of Tesco plc implemented the below mentioned strategies:
In order to overcome the problem of fear, customers were given an option to order products online and enjoy home delivery over and above manual buying. There will be no interaction between the execute and the customers and products will be delivered after proper sanitization. Through this strategy, the number of orders is increasing steadily.
JIT system is implemented to reduce the storage and inventory costs. It also assists towards securing the enterprise from the loss of expired products. The manufacturing and delivery of unusual products are performed after the placement of orders, resulting in saving of operational expenditure and time.
Figure 2: COVID-19 management process
Even when the business was non-operational for two months, the HRM department of Tesco plc paid minimum wages to their employees in order to help them and their familyto survive this pandemic. This also helped them to retain skilled employees so to secure the position of the organization in the future and gain competitive advantage.
Six sigma and BPR:
The pandemic apart from imposing several financial and non-financial risks also provided organization with a learning of managing the business in minimum infrastructure. The situation is no different for Tesco plc that recently implemented business reengineering and six-sigmato identify non-valuable addition activities so to reduce the operational costs and enhance the profitability (Jasmine, 2019).
Apart from the strategies mentioned above, Tesco plc also established a competent research department to ensure the enterprise is performing as per the changing situation of the economy or marketplace.
The below mentioned guidelines will further assist the Tesco plc to sail through this pandemic and effectively capture the marketplace:
The study points out the problem persisting within the working environment of Tesco plc due to COVID-19 pandemic (Markusand Brainin,2020). The implementation of JIT and e-business ensured the survival of the enterprise in the marketplace. Moreover, productive relationship with suppliers and unique advertising is recommended to attract more customers and gain competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Haleem, A., Javaid, M., Vaishya, R. and Deshmukh, S.G., 2020. Areas of academic research with the impact of COVID-19. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine.
He, H. and Harris, L., 2020. The Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Corporate Social Responsibility and Marketing Philosophy. Journal of Business Research.
Jasmine, C.A., 2019. Impacts of Covid-19 on Company and Efforts to Support Organization Adaptable. Dr. David F. Rico, PMP, ACP, CSM, pp.67-70.
Kooij, D.T., 2020. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on older workers: The role of self-regulation and organizations. Work, Aging and Retirement, 6(4), pp.233-237.
Markus, H.S. and Brainin, M., 2020. COVID-19 and strokeA global World Stroke Organization perspective. International journal of stroke, 15(4), pp.361-364.
McKibbin, W. and Fernando, R., 2020. The economic impact of COVID-19. Economics in the Time of COVID-19, 45.
Seetharaman, P., 2020. Business models shifts: Impact of Covid-19. International Journal of Information Management, 54, p.102173.
Talevi, D., Socci, V., Carai, M., Carnaghi, G., Faleri, S., Trebbi, E., di Bernardo, A., Capelli, F. and Pacitti, F., 2020. Mental health outcomes of the CoViD-19 pandemic. Rivista di psichiatria, 55(3), pp.137-144.
Xiong, J., Lipsitz, O., Nasri, F., Lui, L.M., Gill, H., Phan, L., Chen-Li, D., Iacobucci, M., Ho, R., Majeed, A. and McIntyre, R.S., 2020. Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health in the general population: A systematic review. Journal of affective disorders.
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