June 08, 2020 Two Business Responses To Wuhan Corona Virus- What Pays Off?
Tokyo is a major metropolis with some 37,393,129 people this year. This likely includes the surrounding suburbs. China’s Wuhan Corona Virus has had a dramatic effect the population and especially on businesses that support the people. The larger companies may have been able to shoulder the burden of a quarter with negative sales but the smaller businesses have been devastated. In particular hotels, retailers, and entertainment business have seen nearly 100% losses in sales from this time last year.
Business is not just about being safe. It’s also about being smart. Case in point, there are two sporting goods brands with branches in Roppongi and Marunouchi (we will call it R and M for simplicity). One of the companies in from the US, the other is from Italy. The American brand in the R area was forced to close down by their landlord. Staff were furloughed, others were sent to other freestanding stores, and sales were lost for two months. It is still working to recover losses.
Despite having a range of similar products, the Italian brand had a different approach. The M area store was allowed by their landlord to close their central Tokyo store or remain open through the virus fears. The brand decided to stay open. In the end, the Italian brand never closed. They are an outdoor brand and wanted to be available for their customer.
The M area shop didn’t have the advantage of being near a huge residential zone like R but their sales associates did have some very different results.
- No employees furloughed, fired, or laid off
- Customers were happy to be able to get their products serviced and maintained as usual
- A sense of dedication to business was perceived by customers
- No sales were lost. In fact, sales rose 30% over last year!
The virus fears continue to challenge all business professionals. The health and welfare of our teams is key in being able to provide customer service to our clients. However, the decisions of management in the day to day operations of a business can make or break a brand. Will the M area shop grow more than the R shop? Time will tell. But nothing beats a happy team that happily services clients.Despite having the power tools of CIRCLE that enables us to work from home for eternity, the AINEO team has been back in the office before anyone else in our industry. Why? Our partner clients’ success is the base of our success. We are the conduit between our partner clients and their customers. Our commitment is to make sure we are supporting our datacenters around Japan so organizations can always be within reach.