Smart Cities

Lockdowns Strikes a Big Blow to Bricks-and-Mortar Retail

The UK saw the biggest drop in retail sales since records began 30-years-ago, despite record increases in grocery sales, especially alcohol. In March, US retail sales also slumped to their worst monthly decline since records began in 1982, despite record grocery retail numbers. Both these markets delayed the start of their lockdown and have not made their regulations as harsh as other places to support such economic activities. The figures are even starker in Italy, Spain and other places applying the strictest lockdowns, but the true scale of the disruption will only be clear if and when things return to normal. Almost every well-connected country in the world is facing the same challenge — to identify and react to the outbreak of the virus in the interests of public health and try to maintain economic resilience. How they have managed that challenge will determine the short-term future of their retail sector, along with the rest […]

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