Surviving the pandemic: Specialty coffee retail operational strategies and the impact of COVID-19

James Lannigan, University of Toronto

Prior to the development of the global pandemic, independent coffee retailers were gaining traction within their local communities and successfully developing a vibrant niche market for refined consumer goods and services. In addition to the relative unemployment of many Canadians leading to a depleting clientele, the practice of physical distancing entailed that many retailers had to alter their operations since in-person service and dialogue could no longer be enacted. These policies had a largely detrimental impact on this industry resulting in many temporary, and even permanent, closures. This research uses content analysis (retailer social media data) and interviews (with owners) to assess how retailers have adapted their operational strategies to cope with the challenges of COVID-19 and remain viable.

Research Status: Research in progress but preliminary findings have been presented

Contact: James Lannigan

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