It’s no secret that since the pandemic, many customers are opting to jump online rather than shop in-store. Australia Post announced in May this year that online shopping had increased by 80 percent during the pandemic. Black Friday and Cyber Monday experienced three times the amount of sales that people expected. Delivery companies are struggling to keep up as the country works through our new retail normal. Understandably, shoppers are frustrated and taking out their anger on ret
on retailers. It is a difficult time for retailers, especially leading up to christmas. We really need for all shoppers to understand what retailers are dealing with and to be patient and kind. We are trying our hardest and we need their help to get through this extraordinary festive season. The last eight months have been difficult for everyone, especially retailers. Because a lot of our customers have been avoiding going to the shops, our online sales have increased by over 50 percent since March this year. Like many businesses, we have had to increase staffing levels to cope with the demand and we’ve had to boost the volume of stock we order. We have had to scale up really fast to continue to provide high levels of service. We have done a great job, but like a lot of retailers, we are faced with challenges. Some of the biggest challenges we’re facing are stock deliveries from across the country and overseas as well as staff availability. Pre-Covid, stock coming from overseas would arrive by plane and only take a few days. Now, because there aren’t as many planes in the air and the cost of air freight has gone through the roof, most of our stock is now coming into Australia by ship. This takes months. Meanwhile, if staff have the slightest sniffle, they are not allowed to come into work. When you schedule to have a certain number of employees in place and only a portion are able to turn up due to Covid risk management, this affects the number of people available to process orders. It impacts our ability to process and ship items to our valued customers in a timely manner. But we have to keep everyone safe. Big Girls is not the only retailer dealing with these issues. Retail outlets across the country are affected by stock and processing delays. Unfortunately, a lot of retailers are being badly affected by online reviews from angry customers. It is so upsetting to see negative reviews especially when the circumstances are out of your control. A lot of business owners I speak with are really stressed and upset. When we order stock, we are given expected arrival dates from our suppliers. Unfortunately at the moment, we are encountering delays on arrivals due to congestion at sea. The recent strike at the wharves didn’t help either, as it created a big backlog. Things are arriving but unfortunately it is taking longer than expected. At Big Girls, we are trying to avoid delays by ordering greater amounts of stock at once, but this is harder to carry financially. Please, be kind to retailers this Christmas. We are trying as hard as we can to get your items to you as quickly as possible. Rather than voice your frustration at the retailer through a negative review or angry comment on social media, ask whether they can provide you with an ETA on delivery or if there are other options available to you to secure the item you need. Please hold off making a negative review. I know it can be frustrating, but many of these issues are out of our control. In every retail business, there are staff working hard, doing their best to make customers happy. This year, let’s give our retailers and their staff some slack. We are all in this together.