When Disaster Strikes, Retail Partners Step Up

February 6, 2018

From hurricanes to wildfires to earthquakes, 2017 was one of the worst years for natural disasters around the world. Hundreds of thousands of people and businesses were impacted, and losses in the United States alone were estimated to top $300 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Any time such a disaster occurs, once the immediate crisis passes, the focus often moves to returning communities to a sense of normalcy. This includes reopening retail establishments and supplying consumers with needed goods and services. But when associates, buildings and supply chains may all have been impacted by the crisis, it’s not always a simple task to take on alone.

This was the case with a SAS Retail Services’ retailer partner after Hurricane Harvey battered its stores in the Houston, Texas area in late August. Record-setting rainfall left many parts of the area flooded and tens of thousands of residents displaced. As flood waters began to recede and people started returning to their homes, the retailer knew it had to move quickly to reopen stores and help get the community back on track. To speed the process, the retailer reached out to SAS Retail Services, who jumped into action to help.

SAS Retail Services quickly assembled a “Hurricane Relief Team” made up of its own merchandisers from various nearby accounts. The merchandisers rallied together and traveled to Houston to assist. For seven days straight, the eight-person team worked and traveled to the retailer’s 30 stores in the area, restocking shelves to replace depleted merchandise, cleaning out expired products and unloading newly arrived shipments.

The retailer was extremely thankful for SAS Retail Services’ ability to provide support for them at such a tragic time. “Your team has been a key essential part in helping us get back to a normal state of business,” said one of the retailer’s local area sales managers. “We totally could not have done this without you and appreciate the rapid response from the entire team. Simply amazing what your team of eight was able to accomplish… [it] made a huge difference in the stores they touched for sure.”

Offering support to its retailer partners in times of crisis is all part of the partner relationship for SAS Retail Services. When a major earthquake hit the Napa Valley, California region in 2014, the local SAS Retail Services team acted quickly to help its retailer partners. SAS Retail Services associates in the area responded within just a few hours of the quake—some even braving closed roads to get to the damaged stores. Together they worked to move displaced shelving units back into place, clean up undamaged products and return them to the shelves, and replenish shelves to replace the numerous bottles, jars and boxes that were broken. With the team’s help, normal operations were quickly restored.

All retailers know they need to have emergency preparedness and recovery plans. But with the right partnerships, they can rest even easier knowing that if disaster actually strikes, they won’t have to go at it alone.

To learn more about the benefits of partnering with Daymon’s retail merchandising and execution team SAS Retail Services, contact Michael Bellman, President of SAS Retail Services, at michaelbellman@daymon.com.