The Friday Report: June 19th, 2020

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Pocket Change Shortage Linked to Coronavirus

Chalk this up to the law of unintended consequences.  Apparently, there is now a coin shortage in the United States.  Not only has COVID-19 disrupted retail supply chains but also the flow and distribution of currency, according to the Federal Reserve. As of June 15, 2020, coin order allocation was strategically allocated in all Reserve Bank offices and Federal Reserve coin distribution locations.  This effort is being made to provide a fair and equitable distribution of existing coin inventory to all depository institutions.

Over the past few months, as communities closed down, consumers were quarantined and retail stores and banks largely remained shuttered, the flow of coins diminished significantly.  Add to this the fact that the U.S. Mint reduced production of coins to protect its employees and we now have a full-fledged shortage of coins.

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How a No-Deal Brexit Could Impact Post-COVID-19 Europe

Already bruised, Europe is finding it challenging to dig its way out of national lockdowns, rampant unemployment and an economic recession.  To date, trade talks between the U.K. and the EU have not been particularly fruitful.  This leads to the increasing likelihood that Britain may break out of the EU without the certainty of trade deals.  More uncertainty is expected to inflict even more economic pain.  The question is, will this be the perfect storm?

Both sides have proven intransigent, unable to abandon their positions on fundamental issues.  The march towards a no-deal Brexit continues.  On top of all the other current challenges, businesses may find this insurmountable.  The chaos of unruly EU trading relations may result in loss of jobs and a crisis of economic confidence.

It is apparent that the impasse in the trade negotiations is related to a basic lack of agreement.  The EU is willing to provide the U.K. with a zero-tariff, zero-quota trade deal in exchange for acceptance of provisions which prevent the U.K. from undercutting the EU in areas including labor and environmental regulations and state aid.  This would help to assure a level playing field for both parties.  The U.K. refuses to sign on as it finds the request inconsistent with the reason it left the EU, to assure its sovereignty.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to refuse to delay the final stage of Brexit beyond the end of 2020 and has promised to discontinue negotiations and notify businesses that a no-deal breakout is at hand.

Epidemic of Store Closures Expected in 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has caused severe, in some cases irreparable damage to U.S. retail stores.  Current information points to the permanent closure of 25,000 U.S. stores at some point during 2020.

Record store closures occurred in 2019.  Over 9,800 stores closed permanently according to a report from retail and tech data firm Coresight Research.

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