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Ominous outlook for retail

Starbucks location in Manhattan (Credit: Starbucks)


  • A look at traffic congestion and hours worked in states in which lockdowns have eased indicates workers and consumers haven’t resumed their pre-pandemic routines. This illustrates the limits of policy makers’ influence –– residents’ and businesses’ behavior depends on their own perceptions of risk. Congestion levels over the past few days haven’t changed much since the South Carolina and Georgia eased orders and remain well below mid-March levels. (WSJ)
  • Starbucks outlined new plans to reopen stores. Some locations will continue as drive-thru only, others may utilize the mobile ordering experience for contactless pickup and delivery and others may reopen for ‘to-go’ ordering. Interestingly, prior to the outbreak, Starbucks said approximately 80% of all customer orders were placed ‘on-the-go.’ (ABC)
  • Brooks Brothers is seeking to sell itself, and depending on how many of its 250 U.S. a potential buyer is interested in, a transaction could ultimately be part of a bankruptcy filing. The company has about $600 million in debt. (Bloomberg)
  • Private Membership Clubs Still Collect Dues, Despite Closures… The U.S. alone holds approximately 3,500 private clubs with revenue of $1 million or more. The average club derives 43% of its revenue from membership dues and 27% from food and beverage sales. (Bloomberg)

Interesting data on U.S. online web traffic to fitness companies:

  • All membership gym sites: -65%
  • Equinox: -77%
  • All on-demand fitness sites: -80%
  • All online fitness sites: +409%
  • Peloton: +828%

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