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Retail: Positive trends in China

Published March 20, 2020

According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus began in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. After about varying measures of quarantine and social distancing precautions taken across the country, earlier this week, CNN said China reported “no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases for the first time since the pandemic began, marking a major turning point in the global battle to contain COVID-19.”

The reported drop in new cases has coincided with faster recovery and fewer deaths. And the good news on the health front has started to impact the economy, which is beginning to make a recovery. 


Fast recovery facts:

  • China has closed all temporary COVID-19 hospitals as cases dwindle (New York Post) Original source: XinhuaNet (Chinese State-run Media cited by NYP)
  • Apple has reopened all 42 of its retail stores in China (Business Insider
  • China only had one new reported case of COVID-19 on Monday (Forbes)
  • Air China has a route to London open again (Forbes)
  • Wuhan airports are preparing to reopen (Forbes)
  • On March 19th, for the first time in weeks, the stock market ended slightly higher (NASDAQ)
  • As of last week, Starbucks has reopened roughly 90% of their stores (Forbes)


“Hundreds of shoppers thronged Apple’s stores on two main shopping streets in Shanghai over the weekend. IKEA, which opened three of its Beijing stores on March 8, saw high visitor numbers and queues as it implemented new social distancing rules, such as only four people per elevator, state media reported.” 



While people are trying to recover from difficult economic times, retail sectors appear to be recovering, too. Harvard Business Review said one cosmetics company that closed its doors during the height of the crisis had empowered their employees to transition to online beauty consultants, stimulating a 200% growth compared to the prior year’s quarter. 

China also got creative to keep employees working, according to the Harvard Business Review. They reported, “In response to a severe decline in revenue, more than 40 restaurants, hotels, and cinema chains optimized their staffing to free up a large share of their workforces. 

“They then shared those employees with Hema, a “new retail” supermarket chain owned by Alibaba, which was in urgent need of labor for delivery services due to the sudden increase in online purchases. O2O players, including Ele, Meituan, and JD’s 7Fresh followed this lead by also borrowing labor from restaurants.” 

For more resources and information about the coronavirus, please visit NCR VOYIX’s coronavirus response resources page.


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