design:retail - May/June 2020 - 26

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GOOD
ERIC DANIEL
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
FITCH

W E A R E W I T N E S S I N G C H A N G E that some say will be an
extinction-level event for many retail brands.
I firmly believe good can come from bad things,
even from this pandemic. It is the new great equalizer.
A watershed moment for people, society, business and
brands. People are showing the best of themselves,
and brands are behaving and speaking like the people
behind the brands: regular people with skin in the
game. They are like you and me. Brand artifices have
been swept away and the people behind these brands
are speaking about truly helping people and behaving
more generously. Brands getting real is good.
Brands are preparing a host of changes, both temporary and permanent. Right now, we can't exactly know
the difference. Short-term safety is to err on the side
of caution. Wisdom is in watching to see that not all
changes will last, nor may prove ultimately necessary.
However, our guests will see that some changes are
most welcome and should be adopted permanently.
Below I'll share a few observations and predictions:

Seeing the Humanity in Brands
Generosity of brands has been a mantra of FITCH
and we are seeing it in full force right now. Brands are
employing conspicuous generosity at just the critical
time when new opinions of brands are being formed.
Some standout examples:
* Realizing its customers are driving less, State Farm
is preparing to give them $2 billion through its Good
Neighbor Program, and will continue to make "realtime decisions." At a time when so many people are in
need of some relief and good news, this is so welcome,
humanizing and empathetic.
* Lexus' "In Service of People" campaign includes
personally scheduled appointments where you can
feel safe and served in a way that's commensurate
with the Lexus brand. This sounds brand-right and is
a change that should remain.
* Verizon hosted Billie Eilish to pump up small business (which is most businesses in America and the
source of the most jobs lost).
Safety + Joy
Experience will be even more important in the
mind of the guest, even while their expectations and
definition may be in flux. The brand offering the best
experience will be the shopper's choice of where to
spend their dollars. Our shoppers and guests will be
emotionally divided between dichotomous desires:
to be safe and to be social. For the foreseeable future,

the best experience will be conditional and may be
defined by "avoidance." Who rewards me for staying
away or at distance? And, more importantly, who provides a safe way for me to finally get to see and interact
with people again. For example:
Trend: Reduced (visible) goods handling
Benefit: Safety
Advice: Examine your operation and find every opportunity to reassure guests in word, deed, process and
accommodation that "my safety" is "our essential."
Trend: Contactless order and payment
Benefit: Avoidance
Advice: Make sure while keeping the physical
contact clean and to a minimum, that you are sure to
heighten the emotional contact. Even if it is as simple
as our friends at Chick-Fil-A: "It's my pleasure."
Trend: Shorter Trips
Benefit: Reducing necessary potential contacts
Advice: Investigate paths and predictive wayfinding
with mobile-first thinking; precise timing of appointments/operational and executional excellence.
Demands to Improve
I've been reading ever more bad news about
our food-supply chain and even worse, the United
Nations is saying that famine is a possibility where up
to 300,000 people may die each day. Let's hope we
don't arrive at such a pathetic situation.
But it brought to mind news from our retail world:
Costco has limited the individual purchase of meat to
spread the supply over many buyers. Likewise, Darren
Caudill at Cub Foods in Minneapolis is asking guests
to limit individual meat purchases.
It strikes me that there are two potential causes for
this domestic meat/protein shortage. First, the global
supply has been ravaged by disease, but in the United
States, we've not encountered these same difficulties to
the degree they are being felt abroad. Conversely, we are
hearing that perfectly healthy stocks are being culled
because of lack of distribution, due in part to food service closures and reduction in every sector of the food
service category. This is both perverse and ironic.
Second, we are experiencing a processing shortage
because our large, consolidated meat-packing plant
workers have fallen ill, causing shifts to be understaffed and production to fall. Even this devastating
situation is an opportunity to learn and demand good
to be realized.
Local Comes Home
Our grocery and food world is dominated by large
chains, which are good at reducing costs and moving
product. Chains have consolidated meat processing
operations into large plants or abdicated it to suppliers.
The noble art of butchery is rarely local these days. We
may see a return to food production in our local stores,
because at this time, we don't have a product supply
shortage, we have a production shortage.
Through all of this we will discover our societal

26

vulnerabilities-supply chains, overseas manufacturing of critical equipment and life-sustaining products,
consolidating resources into too-few, densely populated plants and factories-and demand necessary,
immediate and beneficial change. Manufacturing of
critical industries, products and technologies will return to the states (with help and subsidy). Likewise,
jobs will return; skilled manufacturing and machining
jobs and careers with good wages and salaries helping
to reconstitute our now devastated labor and service
markets. The return of critical product and industry
manufacturing facilities and jobs will build long-term
great consumers and ensure the safety of our markets,
supplies and quality.

THE FUTURE OF F&B:
LOW-TOUCH, HIGH-IMPACT
EXPERIENCES
MARTY MCCAULEY
DESIGN DIRECTOR
FRCH NELSON
R E S TAU R A N T S A R E M O R E T H A N J U S T A P L A C E T O E AT . They
are where we gather, connect and spend time with
loved ones. We've all grown accustomed to dining in
and driving through, but what happens when these
experiences are taken away from us? And what could
the industry look like after COVID-19?
There are many factors that will shape the future
of food and beverage, but at a minimum, the industry
will be led by low-touch and high-impact experiences.
Brands will need to drastically decrease the number
of physical touchpoints throughout their experience.
Touchscreens will be left in the past (thankfully) and
integrated technology will work to minimize angst
surrounding the spread of COVID-19. Eliminating
contact doesn't mean the connection will be lost. Lowtouch solutions can, and should, still have a positive
impact on the overall experience.

"In a twisted
paradox,
mandated social
distancing has
encouraged us all
to come
together now
more than ever."



design:retail - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of design:retail - May/June 2020

design:retail - May/June 2020
Contents
From the Editor
Happenings
On Trend: Retail in the Pink
Spec Sheet: The Great Outdoors
Interactive Spaces: Razer
Pop-Ups: Backcountry
Plugged In: adidas
Perspectives: Everything I Learned from Being a Designer at Amazon
SPECIAL REPORT: POST-PANDEMIC RETAIL
CANNABIS RETAIL ROUNDUP
40 UNDER 40
Moment
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Intro
design:retail - May/June 2020 - design:retail - May/June 2020
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Cover2
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 1
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Contents
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 3
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 4
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 5
design:retail - May/June 2020 - From the Editor
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 7
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Happenings
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 9
design:retail - May/June 2020 - On Trend: Retail in the Pink
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 11
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Spec Sheet: The Great Outdoors
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 13
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 14
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 15
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Interactive Spaces: Razer
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 17
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Pop-Ups: Backcountry
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 19
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Plugged In: adidas
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 21
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Perspectives: Everything I Learned from Being a Designer at Amazon
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 23
design:retail - May/June 2020 - SPECIAL REPORT: POST-PANDEMIC RETAIL
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 25
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 26
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 27
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 28
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 29
design:retail - May/June 2020 - CANNABIS RETAIL ROUNDUP
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 31
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 32
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion1
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion2
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion3
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion4
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion5
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion6
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion7
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Trion8
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 33
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 34
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 35
design:retail - May/June 2020 - 40 UNDER 40
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design:retail - May/June 2020 - 47
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Moment
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Cover3
design:retail - May/June 2020 - Cover4
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