Research - JUNE 25, 2021

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NLC: Re-envisioning retail for recovery and resilience

by Andrea Zander

COVID-19 expedited many of the trends well underway prior to the pandemic, from changing consumer preferences to the growth of ecommerce, according to the National League of Cities (NLC). The pandemic has shifted areas of expansion and contraction. Just as the retail industry faced disruption following the Great Recession, COVID-19 represents another major disruptor, accelerating changes in cites’ approaches to land use, planning and zoning; economic opportunity and jobs; and emerging technology.

Overall, the retail sector has seen an approximately 10 percent increase in dollars spent in February 2021 compared to February 2020. The strongest growth across retail is seen in the non-store retail sector, which experienced a 27 percent increase in sales in the past year driven largely by the rise of ecommerce.

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