New research from Barclays suggests that the average length of British supply chains has doubled since the pandemic hit, and retailers and wholesalers in the country do not expect them to return to normal until at least March 2021. The report, “Chain reaction: Retail and wholesale supply chains adapt to a climate of change,” was picked up by the Scottish Business Insider.
Barclays Corporate Banking commissioned pollster YouGov to survey 508 decision makers in the retail and business sectors from August to September.
Before the pandemic, the average British supply chain took five weeks from beginning to end. Respondents said this has now doubled to an average of ten weeks since the pandemic— and economic slowdowns— hit.
A key takeaway from the report states that British wholesalers and retailers “intend to use their immediate responses to COVID-19 disruption to accelerate structural change.” The restrictions have driven a change in online purchasing, which the report opines, “is likely to remain.”
Nearly half (47%) of businesses plan to prioritize investment in e-commerce technology, while more than half (52%) of wholesalers have responded to COVID-19 by either launching or increasing direct-to-consumer (D2C) sales. The report goes on to say that many firms have also invested heavily in e-commerce solutions to facilitate these changes. Again, “the change is likely to become permanent.”
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