Retailing is one of the world's largest industries. As retailing and wholesaling have become more global, competition has intensified. In addition to the global economic downturn, today's retailers face a wide range of challenges, including industry consolidation, employee attraction and retention, and business continuity. And as always, consumers are demanding ever-higher quality — at ever-lower prices — for the products they buy.
For a retail business, these trends create a host of risks: strategic, financial, operational, and hazard — that can prove costly.
Marsh's Retail/Wholesale Practice specializes in addressing the risk and insurance needs of retailers and wholesalers. Our approach includes a thorough assessment of client risks and solutions tailored to meet clients' specific needs.
Solutions for retailer and wholesaler risks include:
- Economic Downturn Task Force — Difficult economic conditions and reductions in consumer spending have severely impacted the retail industry. Marsh's Economic Downturn Task Force brings together a suite of solutions that can help companies manage the challenges of operating in a recessionary business environment.
- Crisis Management Consulting — A crisis, whether at a store, a distribution center, or company headquarters, can lead to serious injuries, disruption of the flow of goods, and consequent loss of business. Marsh's Risk Consulting Practice examines business processes to identify areas critical to a retailer's survival.
- Information and Network Security — The Internet and electronic networks provide retail businesses with greater speed, efficiency, and worldwide access to potential markets and customers. But it also brings new legal uncertainties and complex risks. Marsh offers comprehensive consulting and risk transfer services that enable companies to manage their e-business, information, and network exposures.
- Merger, Acquisition, and Divestiture Consulting — Mergers and acquisitions are common in the retail industry. Marsh can quickly and efficiently recommend ways to minimize the risks associated with these complex transactions.
- Workplace Violence Prevention — Retail businesses are especially vulnerable to violence in the workplace. Marsh’s Risk Consulting Practice can help design strategies that reduce the number of violent incidents and lessen the impact of those that do occur.
- Workers' Compensation and Integrated Disability Management — Whether an employee is injured on or off the job, costs are incurred due to lost productivity. In the retail industry, workers' compensation costs are often second only to payroll expenses. Reducing employee accidents, managing disability-related costs, and helping injured employees return to work as soon as possible can dramatically reduce a retailer's labor costs, while increasing staff productivity and customer service quality. Marsh's proprietary benchmarking tool, Dimensions, and the services of the Marsh Risk Consulting Practice can help retailers achieve these goals.
- Claims Consulting — For most retailers, employee and customer claims constitute the largest share of total cost of risk. Marsh claims consultants have partnered with many retailers to manage these claims more cost-effectively.
- Property Risk Management — Retailers often operate stores in locations that are vulnerable to natural hazards. Substantial values, especially at distribution centers and multiple operating locations create potential for under-insuring risk. Marsh's property and natural hazards risk consulting, and property valuation services can help retailers evaluate and mitigate their exposure. When a loss occurs, Marsh's Forensic Accounting and Claims Services (FACS) Practice can assist with claims accounting and preparation services.
- Marine Stock Throughput — Marsh can help a retail business achieve better coverage — with lower deductibles — to insure stock against damage from windstorms, floods, and earthquakes.
- Supply Chain Management and Foreign Sourcing — Retailers are always looking for ways to source and move goods to points of sale with more efficiency. Globalization and regulatory requirements have increased the complexity of managing supply chains. Marsh's Retail/Wholesale Practice with our Transportation Practice and Supply Chain Risk Consulting Practice provide a team approach to help retailers better manage these risks.
- Construction Wrap-Ups — Because many retail organizations engage in extensive property development, they face construction risks during the development process and long after project completion. Many retail organizations secure project-specific insurance policies including builders' "all risk," design firm professional liability, environmental liability, and/or a controlled insurance program (CIP), encompassing workers' compensation and general liability. In addition to providing dedicated coverage, these policies can benefit retail entities by removing barriers to teamwork and supporting risk management among project participants.
Regardless of which party ultimately provides each coverage, it is in the project owner's best interest to understand the options available for managing and insuring construction risk in the retail industry.