The COVID-19-pandemic and implications for businesses : innovative retail marketing viewpoint

A.P. Opute, C.G. Iwu, O. Adeola, V.V. Mugobo, O.E. Okeke-Uzodike, O. Fagbola, and O. Jaiyeoba

Vol 16 | Issue 3, pp. 85-100


Academic discourse has given much attention to crisis management, a logical trend given that crises have profound implications on businesses and on consumers’ behaviour. A core premise that has featured prominently, and indeed remains a core research interest, is public health-related crisis. Underpinned on that business and consumers’ behaviour implication foundation, this study aims to contribute to the public health crisis management literature, albeit from a retail marketing purview. Specifically, this study examines the business implications of the Corona- Virus-Pandemic that has paralysed the global economy. To do that, the authors utilise a literature review approach to understand the pandemic containment strategies and economic impacts (including implications for businesses).
The authors invoke leadership (including infrastructure) and strategic and pro-active marketing theories to propose a retail marketing approach that would enable businesses as well as customers effectively contain the movement restriction implications of such pandemic in the future. The authors contend that the leadership approach and the extent and operational modus of infrastructures significantly condition the response effectiveness, impact on business and the economic recovery timescale. To conclude, the limitations of this study are acknowledged. Also, useful directions for progressing knowledge about public health crisis management and retail marketing are flagged.

Back to Volume 16 issue 3

This article may be downloaded from the following locations:


African Mining. (2020). The impact of Covid-19 on the mining sector. 9th, April 2020. Accessed on 12.07.2020 at:

Akanni, L.O. & Gabriel, S.C., (2020). The implication of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy: he global health hazards and economic impacts of COVID-19. Centre for the study of the Economies of Africa. Available at cseaafrica. org/the- implication-of-covi19-on-the-nigerian-economy. Accessed 24 July 2020.

Alkharabsheh, A., Ahmad, Z.A. & Kharabsheh, A. (2013). Characteristics of crisis and decision making styles: The mediating role of leadership styles. International Conference on Innovation, Management and Technology Research, Malaysia, 22-23 September, 2013.

Azeem, S. & Sharma, R. R. K. (2015). Elements of the retail marketing mix: a study of different retail formats in India, The Business and Management Review, 5(4).

Barth, K. 1999. Betriebswirtschaftslehre des EH, Fourth Edition, Gabler, Wiesbaden.

Belk, R. W. (2013). Extended self in a digital world. Journal of Consumer Research, 40(3), pp. 477-500.

Bengtsson, M. (2016). How to plan and perform a qualitative study using content analysis, Nursing Plus Open, 2, pp 8–14. Berekoven, L. (1995) Erfolgreiches Einzelhandelsmarketing, München: C.H. Beck.

Berman, B., and Joel, R. E. (2010). Retail Management. A Strategic Approach, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Bloomberg.

(2020). South African Businesses’ Pain from Coronavirus Lockdown in Charts. April 21, 2020. Accessednon 12.07.2020 at: lockdown- in-charts

Blut, M., Teller, C. & Floh, E. (2018). Testing Retail Marketing-Mix Effects on Patronage: A Meta-Analysis, Journal of Retailing, 94(2), pp.113–135.

Bundy, J., Pfarrer, M. D., Short, C. E. & Coombs, W. T. (2017). Crises and crisis management: Integration, interpretation, and research development. Journal of Management, 43(6), 1661–1692.

Casey, B. H. (2012). The implications of the economic crisis for pensions and pension policy in Europe. Global Social Policy, 12(3), 246–265.

Chen, M. H. (2011). The response of hotel performance to international tourism development and crisis events. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 30(1), 200–212.

Chen, M. H., Jang, S. S. & Kim, W. G. (2007). The impact of the SARS outbreak on Taiwanese hotel stock performance: An event- study approach. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 26(1), 200–212.

Cision PR Newswire. (2020). Sasol’s Response to COVID-19 Lock Down in South Africa; Credit Rating and Oil Hedging Update, and Cautionary Statement. Mar 31, 2020. Accessed on 12.07.2020 at: releases/sasols- response-to-covid-19-lock-down-in-south-africa-credit-rating-and-oil-hedging-update-and-cautionary-statement-301032301.html

CNBC Africa. (2020). COVID-19: Economic meltdown the price – skills and trade the answer. May 31, 2020. Updated: May 31,2020. Accessed on  11.07.2020  at: meltdown-the- price-skills-and-trade-the-answer/

KPMG. (2020). Covid-19: A business impact series. Consumer retail – cash and the journey past Covid-19. KPMG Report (2020), Issue 8 (I8 May). Accessed on 29.08.2020 at: newsletter-(issue-8)–consumer-retail-cash-and-the-journey-past-covid-19.pdf

Day, G. S. & Montgomery, D. B. (1997). Call for papers. Journal of Marketing, 61(April), 100–101.

Deng, S., Wang, W., & Chao, Y. (2020). Will consumption rebound after the COVID-19 pandemic? 1 A structural equation modelling research based on the psychological arousal theory, PsyArXiv, Accessed on 27.07.2020 at: April 2020.

Dey, I. (2005). Qualitative data analysis. London: Routledge.

Engineering News. (2020). New-vehicle sales plummet by 30%. 1 April 2020. Available [Online]. https://www.engineeringnews.

Fernandes, N. (2020). Economic Effects of Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) on the World Economy (March 22, 2020). Accessed on 27.07.2020 at:

Fin24. (2020). Tourism sector warns of massive job losses if travel only reopens widely by September. Accessed on 10.14.2020  at:  losses-if- travel-only-reopens-widely-by-september-20200613

Gartner (2015). Gartner says the Internet of things installed base will grow to 26 billion units by 2020. Retrieved May 30, 2019, from

Geospatial World. (2020). How South Africa uses tech to fight Covid-19. 04/21/2020. Accessed on 10.07.2020 at:

Global Compliance News. (2020). South Africa: The Impact of COVID-19 on Key African Sectors. March 26, 2020. Accessed on 11.07.2020 at:

Hammarberg, K., Kirkman, M. & de Lacey, S., 2016. Qualitative research methods: when to use them and how to judge them. Human Reproduction, 31(3), 498-501.

Hansen, T. (2003). Intertype competition: specialty food stores competing with supermarkets. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, pp.35–49.

Impact of Covid-19 on the Nigerian consumer and industrial markets. KPMG in Nigeria Report (April 2020). Accessed on 28.08.2020 at:  markets- sector.pdf

IOL. (2020). Covid-19 is the push we need to embrace the gig economy. Jun 24, 2020. Accessed on 13.07.2020 at:

ITWeb. (2020). Tech sector should brace for drastic coronavirus impact. 03 February 2020. Accessed on 12.07.2020 at:

Ivanov, D. (2020). Predicting the impacts of epidemic outbreaks on global supply chains: A simulation-based analysis on the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2) case. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 136.

Jackson, J.K., Weiss, M.A., Schwarzenberg, A.B., & Nelson, R.M., (2020). Global Economic Effects of COVID-19. Congressional Research Service, July 21, 2020. Available at Accessed 24 July 2020.

Jesson, J., Matheson, L., & Lacey, F. (2011). Doing your literature review: Traditional and systematic approaches. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE.

Jimoh, M.O. (2015). Managing Epidemic: The British Approach to 1918-1919 Influenza. Lagos Journal of Asian and African Studies. SAGE. Doi:10.1177/0021909615587367

KPMG Professional Services (2020). Covid-19: A Business Impact Series. Financial, Tax and Regulatory Considerations to Manage COVID-19 Disruptions. Issue 2, 6 April 2020. Available at advisory/covid-19-a- business-impact-series.pdf. Accessed 24 July 2020.

Lado-Sestayo, R., Vivel-Búa, M. & Otero-González, L. (2016). Survival in the lodging sector: An analysis at the firm and location levels. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 59, 19–30.

Lazer, W., & Kelly. (1961). The retailing mix: planning and management. Journal of Retailing, 34-41.

Li, S., & Wang, H. (2018). Traditional literature review and research synthesis. In A. Phakiti, P. De Costa, L. Plonsky, & S. Starfield (Eds.), Palgrave handbook of applied linguistics research methodology (pp. 123–144). London: Palgrave.

Lobo, S. & Whyte, J. (2017). Aligning and reconciling: Building project capabilities for digital delivery, Research Policy, 46(1), 93-107.

Mail&Guardian. (2020). Covid-19 leaves SA at the mercy of overseas drug exporters. 25 Mar 2020.  Accessed on 12.07.2020 at: Müller-Hagedorn, L. (1993). Handelsmarketing, 2nd edn, Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.

Nicola, M., Alsafi, Z., Sohrabi, C., Kerwan, A., Al-Jabir, A., Iosifidis, C., Agha, M., & Agha, R. (2020).  The socio-economic implications of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19): A review. International Journal of Surgery, 78,185–193.

Nyenswah, T., Engineer, C.Y. & Peters, D.H. (2016) Leadership in times of crisis: The example of Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia, Health Systems & Reform, 2(3),194-207.

Ohadike, D.C., (1991). Diffusion and Physiological Responses to the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19 in Nigeria. Soc.Sci.Med. 32(12), 1393-1399. Africa Studies and Research Centre, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Olapegba, P.O., Ayandele, O., Kolawole, S.O., Oguntayo, R., Gandi, J.C., Dangiwa, A.L., Ottu, I.F.A., & Iorfa, S.K. (2020, April 12). COVID-19 Knowledge and perceptions in Nigeria. PsyArXiv. Elsevier Inc.

Olapegba, P.O., Iorfa, S.K., Kolawole, S.O., Oguntayo, R., Gandi, J.C., Ottu, I.F.A., & Ayandele, O., (2020, May 8). Survey data of COVID-19-related Knowledge, Risk Perceptions and Precautionary Behavior among Nigerians. Elsevier Inc.

Onyekwena, C., & Ekeruche, M.A., (2020). Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the Nigerian economy. The Brookings Institution April 8, 2020, Available at Accessed 24 July 2020

Opute, A. P. (2008). The Antecedents of Accounting-Marketing Integration during the Strategic Marketing Process’, Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Conference of the Academy of Marketing, November 6 – 8, The Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, Westminster (London, UK). ISBN: 978-0-9552685-5-7.

Opute, A. P. (2017). Exploring Personality, Identity and Self-Concept among Young Consumers (Chapter Five), Young Consumer Behaviour: A Research Companion, Routledge (Taylor and Francis). ISBN: 978-0-415-79008-6 (hbk).

Opute, A. P. (2020a). Small and Medium Enterprises Marketing: Innovation and Sustainable Economic Growth Perspective, in Entrepreneurship Marketing: Principles and practice of SME Marketing. Routledge Publishers.

Opute, A. P. (2020b). Teamwork and Customer Service (Chapter 14), in Customer Service Management: A Strategic and Operational Perspective. Taylor and Francis.

Opute, A.P., Irene, B.N. & Iwu, C.G. (2020). Tourism service and digital technologies: A value creation perspective. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, 9(2). ISSN:223-814X.

Ozuem, W., Howell, K.E. & Lancaster, G. (2008). Communicating in the new interactive marketspace, European Journal of Marketing, 42(9/10), 1059-1083.

Pantanoa, E., Pizzib, G., Scarpib, D., & Dennis, C. (2020). Competing during a pandemic? Retailers’ ups and downs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Journal of Business Research 116, 209–213.

Rachinger, M., Rauter, R., Müller, C., Vorraber, W. & Schirgi, E. (2019). Digitalisation and its influence on business model innovation, Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 30(8), 1143-1160.

Reddy, V., Soudien, C. & Winnaar, L. D. 2020. Impact of school closures on education outcomes in South Africa. The Conversations. May 5, 2020. Accessed on 12.07.2020 at: education- outcomes-in-south-africa-136889

Reeves, M., Lang, N. & Carlsson-Szlezak, P. (2020). Crisis management: Lead your business through the Corona crisis, Harvard Business Review, Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation.

Ritter, T. & Pedersen, C.L. (2020). Digitisation capability and the digitalisation of business models in business-to-business firms: Past, present, and future, Industrial Marketing Management, 86, 180-190.

Saavedra, J. 2020. Educational challenges and opportunities of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. MARCH 30, 2020.

WorldBank Blogs. Accessed on 09.07.2020 at: opportunities-covid-19-pandemic

Senbeto, D. L & Hon, A. H. Y (2020). The impacts of social and economic crises on tourist behaviour and expenditure: an evolutionary approach, Current Issues in Tourism, 23:6, 740-755.

Statista (2020 – edited by Mazareanu). Leading European Airlines based on revenue 2018; European Aviation industry. Accessed on 19.05.2020 at: revenue/

Statista (2020). Death rates from coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States as of May 4, 2020, by state (per 100,000 people). Accessed on 07.05.2020 at: us-by-state/

Statistics South Africa. (2020). Business impact survey of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. Accessed on 09.07.2020 at:

The africa report. (2020). South Africa VS Coronavirus: Exports keeping agriculture afloat. Friday, 3 July 2020. Accessed on 10.07.2020.

Turban, E., King, D., Liang, T.P. & Turban, D. (2010). Electronic commerce 2010: a managerial perspective. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.

United Nations (2020). Impact of COVID-19 in Africa. Policy Brief: 20 May 2020

Varadarajan, R. (2015) Strategic marketing, marketing strategy and market strategy. Academy of Marketing Science Review, 5, 78–90. DOI 10.1007/s13162-015-0073-9.

World Bank Group (2020). Nigeria in Times of COVID-19: Laying Foundations for a Strong Recovery. Nigeria Development Update June 2020.

World Bank Group (2020). The Global Economic Outlook During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Changed World. Feature Story June 8, 2020. Available at  during-the- covid-19-pandemic-a-changed-world. Accessed 24 July 2020.NIGERIA

World Retail Congress. (2020). Retailing in a time of crisis. Accessed on 14.07.2020 at: https://www.worldretailcongress. com/congess-content/issue-two-the-retail-world-2020-retailing-in-a-time-of-crisis.

Back to Volume 16 issue 3