By Stephen Bergeron, V.P. of Global Marketing, APG Cash Drawer
Retail growth projections have changed drastically as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak. While the overall sector was poised for growth when the year started, the new outlook is considerably less optimistic for segments such as department stores, general merchandise, specialty soft goods, and hospitality.
In the U.S., a growing number of states and municipalities have implemented stay-at-home policies that require all but essential commerce to shut down while the pandemic lasts. Many community, national and outlet shopping malls have announced temporary closures. Elsewhere, lockdowns are in place in countries ranging from small European states like Portugal to large-population nations such as India and countries with massive territories such as Russia.
These government-mandated actions are necessary to arrest the spread of the deadly virus, but unfortunately, they are also are having a profound negative impact on the health of retail. To be sure, several segments are growing for obvious reasons. Food/groceries, pharmacies, supercenters, and mass merchandisers are getting a boost.