The Coronavirus Will Accelerate Retail’s ‘Collapse Of The Middle’

For retailers struggling with failing consumer value propositions, the coronavirus pandemic could not have struck at a worse time. Just as many are running out of meaningful cost reduction moves and are in desperate need of profitable top-line growth (and the cash it brings) to invest in more than a timid transformation, much of physical retail is now grinding to a halt of difficult-to-determine depth and duration. For highly leveraged retailers, prospects for near-term recapitalization appear bleak. For newer disruptive brands, many of which need to raise cash to fund operating losses and/or fuel store opening plans, the ability to raise significant private or public capital on favorable terms look rather shaky. For any retailer that sells fashion-sensitive or seasonal merchandise, each week of declining traffic adds to the pile of coming markdowns. Read more at Forbes.