“It’s not like the brick-and-mortar retail business was booming before the coronavirus pandemic, either. For the past decade, Americans’ shopping habits have drastically shifted, thanks to the advent of online shopping, same-day delivery, and direct-to-consumer startups. While many stores have invested in turning their locations into “experiences,” corporate behemoths like Sears, Family Dollar, Toys R Us, Claire’s, Forever 21, and Payless have struggled to adapt to customers’ expectations.
What’s been called the “retail apocalypse” over the last 10 years is rapidly accelerating due to coronavirus. Analysis from retail industry tracker Coresight Research suggests that more than 15,000 stores in the US could permanently shutter, up from the 9,500 that closed their doors last year.
If the great American department store was already in decline, coronavirus may be what finishes the job. It’s almost certain that Neiman Marcus is just the beginning.”