Retail we knew before the pandemic probably won’t look so familiar after recovery from the virus finally happens.
In a new RetailDive piece, industry observers comment that the pandemic accelerated industry changes that might otherwise have taken many years to occur. In other words, retail has been through more of a revolution than an evolution in the past year.
Here are a few key takeaways from the piece:
- The industry became nimbler, of necessity, once the pandemic took hold in the U.S.
- Apparel felt some of the greatest impact. Formal dress is less prominent, and many stores now believe their stores need to be smaller.
- Innovations in delivery such as touchless payments and curbside delivery are likely to remain to some degree.
- Increasing mall vacancies will be repurposed for other needs including medical, residential and grocery. In some cases, mall owners have become retailers and have become more amenable to more flexible lease terms.
As large retailers adjust their strategies, new opportunities may emerge for small, indie retailers to fill missing links in available merchandise.