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Retail & Wholesale

For retail and consumer brands organisations, a combination of analytics, business insight, and technical risk advice is crucial for the management, control, and transfer of risk.

The retail and consumer brands sector is experiencing a period of fundamental change as customers and their changing buying patterns drive the need for innovation and increased speed to market. Risks from the growth of omni-channel technology, complex global supply chains, increasing regulation, and the impact of product quality or contamination are causing companies to re-think their business models to remain competitive and protect their reputations.

Marsh provides the deep expertise needed to manage today’s risks and to identify those that are on the horizon. Using industry-leading analytics and benchmarking tools, which provide a holistic view of risk across an organisation, our risk practice and consulting teams can help you move beyond simply managing risk to unlocking opportunity.

The result: We will work with you to develop a risk management programme that helps you reduce the total cost of risk, better allocate capital, protect your balance sheet, and improve overall profitability.


Food & Beverage Risk Map - key risks impacting industry

Retailers are facing a more complex set of risks than ever before, as societies reopen to in-person shopping while the demand for online retail still remains strong.

As COVID-19 is still present on a global scale, businesses must contend with risks related to the return to in-person shopping experiences, including customer and staff safety, as well as profitability in light of increased utilization of online shopping.

Some of the risks related to online shopping, such as cybersecurity, were present prior to the pandemic. However, others, like supply chain disruptions, have become much more of an issue as a result of complications related to shipping and logistics, including delays getting merchandise across international borders.

At a bare minimum, retailers should have general liability coverage to protect against claims of customer harm. Beyond this, retailers should consider a business owner’s policy, which covers your storefront, commercial buildings, and any personal property that might be in these locations. Any retailer with employees other than the owner is generally also required to have some form of workers’ compensation insurance, although this may vary by country. Finally, if your business is also involved in transporting merchandise or making deliveries, it is important to have commercial auto insurance to protect against accident claims.

Any time business is conducted at scale, there is an opportunity for great profit, but also for tremendous loss. Wholesalers face a unique set of risks as part of their daily operations. First and foremost is a loss of merchandise, whether due to theft or disaster. Next, there is the inability to obtain supply, which can effectively disrupt business. Wholesalers may also become involved in product liability claims, as they were part of either manufacturing or distribution. Finally, other legal action may be pursued against wholesalers for a number of reasons, from non-delivery of merchandise to regulatory compliance penalties.

First, it is important for wholesalers to consider general liability insurance, similar to retail operations. This protects companies against claims of injury or other harm to customers as well as the general public. Other insurance policies to consider include workers’ compensation, if required in a specific region, as well as transportation-related coverage, such as commercial auto insurance, if applicable. Should a wholesaler be responsible for shipping internationally, it is usually valuable to have expanded coverage for loss and liability of merchandise in transit, including protection against damage made to a shipping vessel or other form of transportation by the merchandise itself.

Our people

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William Lee

Sales Leader, Senior Vice President

  • Taiwan