The pandemic is cleaning out the old stock and forcing everyone else to evolve in ways that will endure long after the crisis has passed.
Retail is having a Darwin moment. Businesses that can adapt to the realities of COVID-19 are doing so quickly while those that can’t are dying out—which probably needed to happen. The result will be a healthier Main Street that can better compete with online natives and offers better services for consumers.
Even before the pandemic, retail was evolving fast, and the old guard was struggling to keep up. Over the past two years, giants such as Walmart, Amazon, and Target consistently rolled out shorter delivery times, bigger inventories, and lower prices, while D2C brands such as Warby Parker and Everlane built modern physical interiors that made older stores look unappealing. Meanwhile, restaurants were being pressured by DoorDash and Uber Eats to find new ways to serve customers.
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