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Post-Lockdown New Normal: Many Brick & Mortar Stores Will Not Reopen, CMBS will Default, Mess to Ensue

Online retail in 2017 continued to drive physical stores out of business, including brands such as Macy's and Sears. PHOTO: Maddie McGarvey/USA Today

Neither the Fed nor the Treasury can bail out brick-and-mortar retailers.

By Wolf Richter | 30 May 2020

WOLF STREET — Macy’s announced today that it would lay off “the majority” of its 123,000 employees after it had closed all its Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury stores on March 18. Even before the lockdowns, its headcount was already down 17% from four years ago, in line with the decline of its brick-and-mortar operations. It said these stores would “remain closed until we have clear line of sight on when it is safe to reopen.”

Whenever that may be. But “at least through May,” the furloughed employees who were already enrolled in its health benefits program “will continue to receive coverage with the company covering 100% of the premium.” And it said, “We expect to bring colleagues back on a staggered basis as business resumes.” That is, if business at these brick-and-mortar stores resumes.

Department stores have been on a 20-year downward spiral that has ended for many of them in bankruptcy court where they got dismembered and sold off in pieces. The survivors, which have been shuttering their brick-and-mortar stores for years, are now getting hit by the lockdowns. […]

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1 Comment on Post-Lockdown New Normal: Many Brick & Mortar Stores Will Not Reopen, CMBS will Default, Mess to Ensue

  1. Until these stores (and the mom-&-pops as well) reopen, it’s gonna be a heckuva lot harder to boycott Amazon, which can certainly be blamed for this ending of brick-&-mortars…. If the post offices close in June like I’ve read in a few places, that can largely be blamed on Amazon as well.

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