Major department stores, which have been experiencing lower sales for some time, are in big trouble because of the coronavirus, according to The New York Times. In March, the sales of clothing and accessories slumped by more than half of typical sales; April is expected to be worse. Neiman Marcus is on the brink of bankruptcy, Lord & Taylor’s entire executive team was let go and Nordstrom has canceled orders and delayed payment to vendors.
“The department stores, which have been failing slowly for a very long time, really don’t get over this,” said one retail expert. “The genre is toast, and looking at the other side of this, there are very few who are likely to survive,” he said. Some analysts’ models for the future consider the possibility of mass default, and it’s possible that the stores are already considering default as an option. Regardless of what happens, the pandemic is sure to have lasting affects on major retailers and individual brands that have counted on them to sell their wares.