SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS YEAR, 2021 WAS ALSO CHARACTERISED BY DISRUPTIONS THAT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC BROUGHT TO THE MARKET. IN RETAIL SPECIFICALLY, RETAILERS NOT ONLY NEEDED TO COPE WITH WEAKER DEMAND, BUT THEY ALSO HAD TO OPERATE UNDER THE SEVERE CONSTRAINTS BROUGHT ABOUT BY THE CHALLENGING LOGISTICAL ISSUES THAT THE PANDEMIC BROUGHT ABOUT ALL ALONG THEIR SUPPLY CHAIN.
Franchisors were very often, unable to meet in full the orders put in by local retailers and this situation only started to improve towards the second half of the year. Retailers have had to work for substantial periods with insufficient, if not inadequate stocks. Managing human resources was another challenge faced by the industry during the period under review. At times, retailers had so many employees who were unwell or caught up in quarantine at the same time, that their trading capabilities were severely compromised.
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