- January 1, 2021: Vol. 33, Number 1

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Retailers find ways to adapt to COVID-19

by Loretta Clodfelter

Retail real estate has taken a beating in the COVID-19 era, but some segments are faring better than others, and retailers’ adaptations are likely to persist in a post-COVID environment.

“Some of the trends that were present pre-COVID have only accelerated during the pandemic,” says Abby Rosenbaum, who leads Barings U.S. retail real estate research. “Consumers are flocking online for goods — and not just soft goods — with consumers adopting a more omnichannel approach to shopping.” Rosenbaum notes that essential retailers (grocery, home improvement) are faring better than nonessential retailers (apparel, restaurants). In addition, over the past several months consumer behavior — i.e., eating in and staying close to home — has shaped how and what consumers are focusing their spending power on.

Retailers have adapted in response to the current environment, and those adaptations may continue in a post-pandemic world.

“As a result of the COVID-19

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