All the major industries not only in Malaysia but across the world are currently dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. From manufacturing to retail and marketing, the pandemic has shifted the way businesses and organisations operate. All industries must adapt to the new “normal”.
F&B has been greatly affected by the coronovirus as well. Since all business premises halt operations during movement control order (MCO), it has taken a big toll towards the business income. Bubble tea shops that were full with people before are now struggle to make ends meet.
SS15 Subang’s bubble tea street now looks like a ghost town
While some boba shops still operating as usual by getting it delivered to their customers’ doorstep, several shops are still struggling to stay afloat. No sales, yet overheads and operating expenses as in rental, utilities and salaries still need to be met.
SS15’s street that were packed with boba shops are now empty and some popular bubble tea shops were closed or downsized. In videos shared by netizens, there were several shops that closed permanently and even rent and sale signage are seen.
So, is boba trend dead?
However, some famous boba brands are still operating as usual even during conditional movement control order and even thrive with the help of online delivery platform. Whether or not that the “boba street” is closing down, it definitely sad to hear and proves that all businesses are really struggling to make ends meet.
Covid-19 is a wake up call for business owners to shift digital commerce
Businesses who in the past viewed digital commerce as a secondary channel now need to consider pivoting their business toward a digital commerce mindset. The pandemic is changing user buying preference from stores to online platforms.
Boba shops need to maximise online delivery platforms to reach their customers and establish creative, unique and new idea to sustain the operations just like Tealive did – producing boba ice cream and promote D.I.Y bubble tea kit so that customers can do their own boba tea without the need to go to the shop.
What about government financial initiatives for business owners?
Government announced stimulus packages for affected businesses and SMEs. However, with the current situation, it takes time for business owners to get back on track especially for SMEs. Many employees are working from home and some even have been asked to take unpaid leave or even lost their jobs.
This is the harsh reality for us and we hope that business owners can get back on their feet once this pandemic is over.
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