A lot of brick-and-mortar retailers had a tough time in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to close their doors to customers. Those that adapted to the new environment with online ordering and curbside pickup did relatively well as consumers shifted to e-commerce since they couldn't (or wouldn't) go in stores.
But not everyone fared so well; 2020 saw 8,741 stores across the United States close their doors, according to data from Coresight Research. And it's going to get worse for a lot of retailers in 2021.
...Not everyone will lose
Coresight CEO and founder Deborah Weinswig is actually optimistic for a bounce back in in-store retail sales this year, despite her expectation for increased net store closures. She thinks the vaccine rollout will help consumers get back to more shopping outings instead of ordering everything online. And that may be true for some retail segments, but not all.
Most notably, we should see a continuance of the trends we saw last year. Weinswig suggests the biggest losers last year, apparel retailers, will be the biggest losers this year as well. 40% of shoppers said they won't spend more on clothing in stores once they're vaccinated, according to a recent survey from First Insight. And if we go into another lockdown, 61% said it'd be an area where they cut back on spending.