Local Malls Hoping to Recover, Yet Feeling Long Term Effects From Pandemic

Of the public companies in the U.S. that sell clothing, like King of Prussia's Lord & Taylor, the 10 largest of those companies will have cumulatively lost $38 billion in revenue for 2020.

2020 has been a difficult year for many, but there’s still no avoiding that the defining part of this year, namely COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge into 2021.

The possibility that things may still get worse before they get better is something retailers know all too well, with clothing stores especially getting hit hard.

Women’s clothing store Francesca’s is one of the latest impacted, having to file for bankruptcy in December. Their struggle is hardly unique.

Sarah Halzack of Bloomberg writes that of the public companies in the United States that sell clothing, the ten largest of those companies will have cumulatively lost $38 billion in revenue for this year.

Looking at retail companies on an individual basis does not yield numbers that are much more auspicious.

For instance, PREIT (owner of the Plymouth Meeting Mall and Willow Grove Park), has seen more than 13% of the tenants in their malls file for bankruptcy this year.

While King of Prussia Mall owner Simon Property Group has seen foot traffic in their malls decrease by just shy of 13% when compared to last year.

Even if life returned to normal tomorrow, the financial ramifications of these losses will be felt for years to come by these companies.

Halzack also predicts that this year will have retrained many shoppers into adopting new purchasing habits that are here to stay even after COVID is gone.

Today’s necessity of shopping online is exposing a lot of customers to ways of buying they may come to prefer.

Positions that operate from home also won’t suddenly vanish once everyone is vaccinated. These new work styles have changed the necessity for professional attire for many. Those changes may be here to stay for a lot of people.

Though we’re still a while away from COVID subsiding, the effects of 2020 will undoubtedly reverberate into 2021 and beyond.

To read more on the financial difficulties retailers are facing, read the original story from Bloomberg by clicking here.

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