CBC News: In the wake of COVID-19, what can Manitobans expect in the next few weeks?
As more Canadians are staying home and practicing social distancing, the economy is taking a hit.
University of Manitoba marketing professor Fang Wan says business owners in Manitoba and abroad will have to adapt or die.
“You look at all the cities, we call them ghost towns, ghost malls, ghost stores. Nobody’s going to restaurants,” she told CBC News.
Wan says retail stores and restaurants that haven’t taken the steps to open online shops, offer delivery options or allow customers to avoid too much person-to-person contact should do so immediately.
“Those people who don’t have an online presence, who don’t have an online system, who don’t have these communication mechanisms with customers, they will have zero business,” she said.
In terms of empty shelves of canned goods and toilet paper, Wan says prices could go up because of the demand, but that could hurt businesses after the pandemic slows down.
“Yes, the demand is more than the supply, and beefing up the price is a commerce and business principle, but that is under the test of moral judgment and morality when a crisis like this arises,” she said.
She thinks Manitoba is well situated because a lot of the items sold in the province are sourced locally. Items that come from big cities that have been hit hard by the pandemic could be much more difficult to access in the next couple of weeks.