b'PHYSICALWHY DEISMALLGETTING RETAILSMATTERS MINERSPOLITICALFUTURE STRUGGLE IN PUBLIC The jewelry giant, which ranks No. 1 on both the $100 Million Su- tomers it has through its two Bergdorf Goodman stores, located across persellers and Top 50 Specialty Jewelers lists, plans to close nearly 400from each other on Fifth Avenue in New York, and serve its Neiman locations in North America and the United Kingdom this fiscal year. Marcus customers both online and at its other 36 physical Neiman Signet noted in its quarterly results what many other retailers haveMarcus locations.also seen.Retailers hoping to survive this pandemic may need to refocus, Online sales have been one of the only bright spots on the balancejust like Neiman Marcus. sheet, forcing the specialty jeweler to take a second look at its storeRight now, retailers need to take advantage of any potential slow count and double down on its online capabilities. time or downtime they have to prepare for the rebirth of their busi-COVID has pushed all retailers to have to reconsider how theynesses, says Reyhle.connect with their audiences as well as what their overhead is to maintain a healthy business, says Reyhle. THE RETAIL RENAISSANCE AHEADNeiman Marcus, which slipped one spot to No. 19 on this yearsSoothsayers have foretold the end of retail as we know it for years. $100 Million Supersellers list, took those factors into considerationFrom the 2008 financial crisis to COVID-19, the retail apocalypse is when it decided to close 24 of its 67 locations this summer, a total ofdrawing nigh, they say.seven department stores and 17 Last Call discount stores, as part ofPerhaps the retail landscape is, instead, undergoing a renaissance, its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. incorporating a blend of in-store and online shopping to better serve The most notable closure was its nearly new three-level store ina changing world.Hudson Yards, an upscale shopping center on Manhattans West Side. Online shopping isnt anything new, but when stores shuttered it The 188,000-square-foot megastore was a beacon of departmentdrew in some people who were new to the experience.store glamour, replete with personal shopping services, a spa, a pop-upAn Inmar Intelligence survey on online grocery shopping, for florist, and four trendy food spots. The stores opening night party inexample, found nearly 80 percent of consumers have shopped online March 2019 was packed with stars and other beautiful people, but thefor groceries since the onset of COVID-19, compared with 57 per-foot traffic that followed was less exciting. cent who did so before the pandemic.When COVID-19 forced Hudson Yards to close temporarily, theRetailers may have been learning new lessons throughout the already struggling Neiman Marcus was in a tough spot.In the announcement about store closures, the re- Tiffany & Co. hopes the tailer said an analysis of consumer behavior signaledmodern glass topper planned for its renovated Fifth Avenue customers penchant for online shopping wouldflagship store will draw more stick, and so thats where it would refocus its efforts. customers. The store is set to reopen in spring 2022. (Photo The COVID-19 pandemic reaffirmed thecredit: Tiffany & Co.) importance of our stores as a key place to build customer relationships in the context of our digital ecosystem, said a company spokesperson.The retailer said it will focus on the luxury cus-Right now, retailers need to take advantage of any potential slow time or downtime they have to prepare for the rebirthof their businesses.Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Retail Minded12 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2020'