Retail

Large Retail Chains Start To Leave Big Apple Amid Pandemic

Large Retail Chains Start To Leave Big Apple

Signs are emerging that large retail chains are beginning to leave New York City, although the municipality has kept COVID-19 in check and is gradually opening again, The New York Times reported.

A number of renowned eateries, flagship retail locations and chains are located in the Big Apple. They have accepted the high rents and other expenses due to the city’s worldwide renown as well as a steady stream of workers and visitors.

The sidewalks that were once busy are now virtually devoid of people in the main retail areas of Manhattan. A number of high-net-worth individuals who call the city home have gone to second homes, while a portion of the typical commuting crowd travels to work daily.

Retailers such as Le Pain Quotidien, Subway, JCPenney and Kate Spade have closed retail locations permanently in the center of Manhattan. A number of other big names, such as the Gap and Victoria’s Secret, have kept their main stores shuttered in Manhattan and reopened in other places.

Le Pain Quotidien, in one case, has shuttered many of its 27 Big Apple locations for good and intends to keep others out of operation until foot traffic comes back, Aurify Brands Co-Chief Executive Andrew Stern told the Times.

As previously noted in this space, the pandemic was simply the force that sped up a decline in physical retail that began in 2014.

In February 2020, the Commerce Department noted that January sales at apparel stores had fallen the most since 2009. The statistic came after a holiday shopping season that was impressive, but weaker than retail analysts had forecasted. Sales at physical retailers for health and beauty items, apparel, sporting goods and other retail products were soft, as eCommerce sales were on the uptick. At the time, analysts dismissed the data as the effect of a shorter holiday season and more circumspect customers spending less before a possible recession.

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