THIS IS OUR FIRST ISSUE THAT CAMEtogether under the shadow of COVID-19. To bespecific, we had already selected retail as ourtheme and had put in a lot of work before thescope of the pandemic in the US became clear.
Once we realized how pervasive the impactwould be, we quickly executed a 180-degree pivot for the magazine and setabout examining the effect the novel coronavirus is having on retail. The high-level headline news, of course, is that COVID-19 has completely upended thesector as stores across the US shut down. Furthermore, it is unclear when orwhether shoppers will feel safe enough to venture into a physical store.
Going behind the headline news reveals a slightly more positive picture. Retailtechnology could go a long way in making consumers feel protected as they goback to their old routines. Also, retail in general had been in the midst of significant change even before the coronavirus reared its ugly head. Some, but hardlyall, of the mall landlords had been nimbly adjusting to these changes. While thecoronavirus represents a change never seen before or anticipated, these companies do have previous change management experience they can tap as theyscramble to survive.
This issue also has one of our influencer series, for retail. As always, we didn’tautomatically look for the largest company or the team with the most sales.Rather, we asked ourselves as we made our selections, ‘which individual, teamor company has had the greatest impact on the retail space?’
This was the one section of the issue that we started well before the coronavirus began to infiltrate the US economy. But we feel this list takes on a specialmeaning in the midst of the pandemic. With retail struggling to maintain a footingright now, the industry will need the best and the brightest to lead the way.
The coronavirus also hit the hotel pretty hard. We examine this sector in thisissue as well. Here too, it may at first seem hard to delve behind the dismalheadline news, but we do provide some tips on how the sector can repositionitself in our article, Reversal of Fortune.
In fact, that was our overriding goal for the entire issue. Namely, we wanted toclearly report what is happening, while also trying to find solutions for our industrywhich is now under siege.
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