The outlook for retail is bleak. Investors already know this, but separating those who might actually go bust from those who will muddle through is key. The US’ big stimulus package had little directly for retailers, but there is enough to throw them a lifeline. According to analysts 630,000 US retailers have had to shut their doors since Coronavrus erupted. Larger companies have responded by furloughing staff, delaying obligations, and tapping revolving credit lines. The retailers most at risk seem to be the mall-based chains that focus on clothing—who were already struggling against ecommerce. Think J.Crew, Neiman Marcus, other department stores etc.
FINSUM: Our team has considerable experience in retail, and in our view the coronavirus will be looked back on as the coffin nail in brick and mortar retail (especially for clothing). This lockdown is going to accelerate the shift to ecommerce, and brick and mortar shopping habits may be permanently reduced.