business news in context, analysis with attitude

From the Washington Post:

"U.S. retailers will shutter 20,000 to 25,000 stores this year, according to projections released Tuesday by Coresight Research, with as much as 60 percent of those closures occurring in malls. That marks a sharp increase from the 15,000 forecast earlier this year and raises the stakes for a sector already in turmoil before the coronavirus pandemic catapulted the country into recession."

While many communities are in the process of reopening their economies and public services, for many, the Post writes, these "various phases of 'reopening' won’t come soon enough.

"J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, J.C. Penney, Tuesday Morning and Stage Stores - which operates hundreds of Palais Royal, Bealls and Goody’s locations - have all filed for bankruptcy. Brooks Brothers is in talks with banks about financing a possible bankruptcy, which could come as soon as next month, CNBC reported. And Tailored Brands, which owns Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank, is considering the same fate, according to Bloomberg News.

"Coresight has tracked more than 4,000 planned closures since Jan. 1. Those include more than 900 from home goods store Pier 1 Imports, plus hundreds more from nutrition brand GNC, Tuesday Morning and Victoria’s Secret."

Two other points from the Post story:

"The retail sector was in transition long before the coronavirus pandemic - more than 9,800 stores closed in 2019 - as bricks-and-mortar storefronts steadily lost ground to e-commerce. And those housed in mid-tier malls that didn’t evolve fast enough were put further behind."

"As with so much of the economy, the path forward may ultimately hinge on finding a vaccine and ending the pandemic. Even then, retailers who can hang on will face painful questions about paying rent, having the money to place advance orders, bringing employees back on the payroll and filling holes in their supply chains. Then comes the possibility that a second wave of infections could force additional lockdowns."

KC's View:

This isn't a retail apocalypse, though you can expect to see that term thrown around a lot in coming months.

This is about bricks-and-mortar … retail is going to be just fine.  Retail just is taking on different permutations, reshaping itself according to the needs and wants of shoppers, the capabilities and potential of technology, and the cultural and economic impact created by the pandemic and recession.

There will always be sellers and buyers.  That's the definition of retail.

There also will always be survivors and victims.  The victims will be the ones that don't adapt, the ones that keep hoping for the good old days to return.