THE RETAIL SECTOR WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO A SOLID YEAR OF SALES WHENTHE CORONAVIRUS HIT. AS IT STRUGGLES TO GET THROUGH THE CRISIS, THOUGHTSTURN TO WHAT THE INDUSTRY WILL LOOK LIKE WHEN IT IS OVER.
On Feb. 26, 2020, the National Retail Federation forecast that retail sales for th e year would in crease between 3.5% and 4.1% to more
than $3.9 trillion, despite uncertainty from
the lingering trade war, the presidential
election and the coronavirus, which had
just knocked China back on its heels. The
NRF cited unemployment that was at a
near 50-year low and low interest rates that
spurred home buying and mortgage refi-
nancing. NRF’s forecast assumed that coro-
navirus did not become a global pandemic.
As we now know, it miscalculated painfully.
Since that forecast, the sector hasbeen upended with most major retailersand countless mom-and-pop shops having closed their doors to wait out thecoronavirus.
Many are struggling during the closuresand have informed landlords that they will
BY JOHN MCCURRY