With widespread vaccination several months away and the federal government moving to pass more relief, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be in sight. The details of the relief bill were still being ironed out at press time.
To that end, retailers and restaurants that have survived the public health crisis can, with some reservations, start to look toward the rebound phase. Because there’s no question that American consumers are itching to make up for lost eating, drinking and socializing time, provided they can do so in what they feel is a safe environment.
“Our biggest point of optimism for 2021 lies in the fact that people want to go out, eat, shop and be entertained,” says Lucas Patterson, executive Vice President at metro-Dallas based Bright Realty. “As we continue to respond to the pandemic, people are increasingly ready to get out of their homes, be with others, eat at restaurants, have drinks and listen to music. We believe we can offer those opportunities as soon as the time is right.”
“Looking forward, our biggest source of positivity involves consumers’ built-up savings and pent-up demand for human connection in a more normal existence,” adds Terry Montesi, CEO of Trademark Property Company, the developer behind mixed-use projects such as Victory Park in Dallas and Alliance Town Center in Fort Worth. “The human need for community and interaction will likely lead to customers returning to our retail and mixed-use properties for non-daily needs.”
But until the “right time” is upon society, the pandemic and recession will likely continue to crush many categories of retail, regardless of how much federal relief money finds its way into brick-and-mortar stores.
While bankruptcy and liquidations of some brick-and-mortar retailers were set in motion years ago and merely….