On a gray, dreary February day, Marguerite Adzick looked out on ice caps floating off a desolate beach along the Jersey shore. Coronavirus was surging. Mass vaccinations had barely begun. And she had just told her investors she was about to sign a lease on her first brick-and-mortar clothing store. “They were just, I think, speechless,” says Adzick, whose store Addison Bay sells women’s activewear. “I think me even saying it out loud … was a little comical. But we ran the numbers. We knew it would work.” When the pandemic struck last year, retail spiraled into upheaval. Since then, it has become a world of seemingly contradictory trends. The industry is hitting many milestones: record numbers of workers quitting and getting hired, wages and prices on the rise. And despite the pandemic devastation, brand-new stores are still opening as shoppers spend more than ever. See more at NPR.