Part 1: Poland
by Urszula Kaszubowska, Editor-in-chief of Branza Dziecieca
Are there any positive signs in your country that the industry is starting to recover once the corona crisis has subsided slowly?
“The situation is generally not as bad as it was predicted by economists. According to the Central Statistical Office (GUS), industrial production in Poland, after a large decline in April and May, increased by 1.1 points in July compared to the previous year. Retail sales data for July are also very good. Although in the entire period from January to July 2020, retail sales decreased by 3.9% y/y, in July it was higher by 3% than in the previous year. Compared to June this year retail sales increased by 6.5%.”
What strategies do producers/distributors use to compensate for the cancellation of the Kind + Jugend? How do they address their clients/target groups?
“The cancellation of K+J is a big surprise. Polish exhibitors and potential visitors rather expected online fair version. But now Polish distributors and producers focus on contracting fair in big wholesalers and local fair – almost all events are planned to be online and will last few weeks, not only 2-3 days as stationery fair.”
Has consumer behaviour returned to status quo or remains the tendency to increasingly buy online?
“Shopping centers and stores are open since May and the number of customers grew every week, although it still did not reach pre-pandemic levels. However, the growing number of COVID cases in last few weeks resulted in a decline in the sense of security in public places, that is why the online shopping trend continues to grow. The coronavirus pandemic has rapidly accelerated the development of e-commerce in Poland. As the experts estimate, the value of the online shopping market in Poland in 2020 will increase by 31% and will exceed EUR 15.3 billion.”
How has the corona crisis driven forward the digitalization of companies in your country?
“Those who have been online so far, very quickly reacted to the new reality with increased investments in the development of tools to further improve the comfort and safety of clients. Also those for whom the online channel was only a suplement to the main sales area, were forced to change their business and focus mainly on this channel of sale.”