Welcome to The Backroom, a window into what goes on behind the scenes as the Retail Dive team covers the stories and trends reshaping retail. You can check out all our podcast episodes (past and present) here and listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and Spotify.
With the swift development and distribution of vaccines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and with the federal government spurring an economic rebound, it seemed possible early in 2021 that the pandemic could soon be a memory. But months of vaccine hesitancy and ongoing resistance to wearing masks have stymied that, to the point where a new variant of the disease is endangering lives and threatening progress.
The lockdowns of last year seem unlikely to be repeated. But the delta variant is complicating what was an already murky environment in retail. Traffic to malls appears to be back, for example, but landlords are agreeing to shorter leases and variable rents. That is further destabilizing malls, which used to be counted on for high footfall and sales. On this episode of The Backroom, Retail Dive Senior Reporters Ben Unglesbee and Daphne Howland take a look at what's going on in retail in light of these issues and more.
- What the delta variant already means for retail
- Malls are rebounding but Q2 shows how cloudy their future is
- Uncertainty lingers, even as consumer confidence rebounds
- Malls tout proposed changes to REIT rules as good for retailers
- 'You can pay or you can wait': How retailers are navigating a shipping crisis