Why some retailers are thriving rather than dying from COVID-19 The potential demise of retail has been a topic of discussion ever since the Sears catalog took aim at brick-and-mortar stores in the 1890s. One hundred years later, ecommerce came along with another business model that challenged traditional retail. But we have never seen anything with the same impact — sudden, rapid and harsh — on the sector as COVID-19. That said, while COVID-19 impacted the sector swiftly, we don’t believe it has materially changed the longer-term trajectory of retail. Instead, it has simply accelerated the evolution of the industry. While the pandemic has had widely divergent effects across the different retail subsectors, overall retailers that have continued to adapt and innovate are proving most resilient.