Make Your Business Resilient to Change

Case Study

Situation & Opportunity

Who: $3.4M Experiential Retailer


After four consecutive years of 15% same-store sales growth, this experiential retailer was facing the prospect of closing for an unknown period of time due to regulations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the amount of time that restrictions would be imposed was unknown, there was careful planning that needed to take place to ensure adequate cash to endure the closure. Staffing continuity was also a priority given the specialized training that each employee received. 

As the operation was experiential, there was no way to pivot to an online environment.

Making your business resilient to change


To understand the impact of a closure for an unknown period of time and provide enough stability that customers would receive the same quality experience when the re-opening occurred in the future.

Business requirements


We recognized that, with an unknown closure period, a plan needed to be created that would allow flexibility if and as the rules changed. We also knew that, due to the pandemic, it was uncertain what re-opening would look like. Given the nature of this particular experiential retail operation, customers and clients were required to be in close proximity to one another. Hence, there would need to be operational and infrastructure changes in order to re-open. All these factors needed to be taken into consideration.

Executing the Plan


  1. Existing strategic plan: reference to ensure that any actions would minimize impact on long-term goals.
  2. Existing forecast model: create scenarios utilizing the model to understand the profit and cash flow options.
  3. Available resource evaluation: including government assistance, bank loans and cash from a sister company.
  4. Organizational plan: to understand which employees were imperative to the long-term success of the company.
  5. Marketing plans: in sync with local government regulations.



  • Creation of 12 different scenario models that included various opening options and staffing plans during the closure.
  • Discussed the drivers of the financial results and what we could do to maximize successes and minimize challenges. 



  • Discussed the various options in contrast to the actual results to minimize the short term and long-term impacts on the company.
  • Continuously monitored the media to minimize the effects of regulations, as well as to provide a safe environment for employees and clients once re-opening occurred.


Full closure was for almost three months, which was one of the mid-range scenarios discussed. However, re-opening was more challenging than expected given the amount of personal protective equipment required, as well as changes to infrastructure. Given the strength of the plans we developed, we were able to minimize impacts and re-open with better-than-expected results from an income and cash perspective.


  • Minimized losses in:
    • Sales
    • Profits
    • Cash
  • Secured government funding to retain key employees.
  • Opened with greater profitably than expected.
  • Had funds to support marketing campaigns.


  • Retained the majority of staff.
  • Were able to find better fits for those employees who left.
  • More prepared to service clients in the future from a contingency perspective, should other challenges arise.