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How COVID-19 is impacting retail stores in the U.S

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In response to the COVID-19 virus, hundreds of retailers including Starbucks, Patagonia, and Nike have either completely closed their retail stores, or have reduced hours and moved to a “take out” or “curbside pickup” format for many grocery stores and other stores such as the paint stores, like Sherwin Williams. According to the CNN Business article published on March 15th, Nike announced it will be closing almost 1000 stores worldwide. This will obviously affect the foot traffic these stores experience and will impact “in person” sales. Most stores, including Nike and Patagonia, have announced they will all remain open for online stores, with reduced or no shipping costs. However, because much of the products are being imported overseas, so there will likely be a delay in shipments and fulfillment. While many of U.S and retail stores around the globe are closing their doors, the larger problem these retail companies are facing is the problems to do with shipping and manufacturing in countries also under quarantine and threat from the virus. Therefore, products and shipments have ceased or drastically decreased their fulfillment to their retail stores and warehouses.

On the other side of the spectrum, the grocery store is seeing an increase in shopping demand for food and household products. As long as these grocery stores have the supply to keep their shelves stocked their business will continue to increase. Just this Sunday (3/22) Ohio (where I live) announced a state shut down that only grocery stores and health providers will remain open and all people are advised to stay in their homes and in their counties. Retail stores for clothes and other products will lose revenue, but the grocery stores will increase theirs.

By retail stores and companies closing their doors, they are showing the public the seriousness of the COVID 19 threat. They are showing their customers, how much they work to protect them but also the employees that are working for these companies. After this is all over, the community’s trust and respect for its retailers will most likely increase.

Claire Duffy – March 15th 2020

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