This week’s news that the Pfizer pharmaceutical company may be closer to releasing an effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19 bodes well for retail, analysts agree.
They think the first to benefit would be the hardest hit by the pandemic: restaurants, bars, hotels and conference centers. Relief may be gradual as more people take the vaccine through the third and fourth quarters of next year.
Still, analysts say, the retail industry will experience relief slowly after the vaccine is safe and released to the marketplace. As spread of the virus subsides, it will promote safer shopping environments, but retailers must continue to evolve and appeal to new ways for consumers to access their goods.
“You can’t just be physical, you can’t just be virtual,” said Eric Rapkin, chair of the law firm Akerman Real Estate Price Group. “You have to have a full seamless application of physical and virtual that all connect so the customer can shop and buy and return at whatever platform they want to. The retailers that best figure that out are the ones that are going to succeed.”