highland park village dallas reopen coronavirushighland park village dallas reopen coronavirus

Stores have begun reopening in certain states.

AP Photo/LM Otero


  • The retail sector lost 2.1 million jobs in April, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday
  • The job losses were just the latest in a series of bad news for the industry, which saw several retailers file for bankruptcy this week. 
  • Meat shortages continue to be a concern for restaurants and grocery stores.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

This week proved to be an exceptionally difficult one for the already struggling retail industry. 

2.1 million jobs were lost in the retail sector in April, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday. 

While stores and malls started to tentatively reopen in certain states, limits on capacity are putting pressure on margins and differing state regulations are causing confusion. 

And, the industry saw the first of what could be many coronavirus-related bankruptcies in J. Crew and Neiman Marcus. Nordstrom additionally said it would close 16 stores for good.

Retail was one of the hardest-hit sectors in a dismal jobs report on Friday.

jcrew store empty



Mark Lennihan / AP Images


According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.1 million jobs were lost in retail for the month of April. Clothing and clothing accessories retailers saw the heaviest losses, with jobs declining by 740,000. 

An additional 5.5 million jobs were shed in food services and drinking establishments. 

Retailers from JCPenney and Macy’s to Gap and Victoria’s Secret announced in April they would be furloughing or laying off workers as they temporarily closed stores in response to the pandemic. Furloughed workers who are receiving benefits but not pay are classified as unemployed in the jobs report. 

The coronavirus bankruptcies began.

neiman marcus



Katie Warren/Business Insider


J. Crew was the first retailer pushed to the brink amid the pandemic, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday.

Neiman Marcus followed on Thursday, citing “inexorable pressure” from the coronavirus in a statement about its bankruptcy. 

Industry experts say that more bankruptcies could be on the horizon. JCPenney, for example, skipped a debt payment with a grace period that ends next Friday. 

Stores reopened in certain states, albeit with strict new guidelines.

pet fair store woodlands mall reopen coronavirus

Store manager Natalie Hijazi temporarily closes off the entrance to a Pet Fair store inside The Woodlands Mall to help meet the current occupancy limits in place Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in The Woodlands, Texas. The mall reopened Tuesday with increased health and safety measures in place.

AP Photo/David J. Phillip


Texas, Oklahoma, and Indiana are among the states allowing “nonessential” retail stores and malls to reopen. 

Stores must follow strict guidelines depending on the state where they are located. In Texas, for example, most reopened businesses must limit visitors to a 25% capacity, putting pressure on margins.  

Understanding differing regulations in states and counties is also proving difficult for retailers. 

“There’s such a big range — and it takes quite a bit time to interpret the differences —rather than have something that is more consistent,” Gap Inc. CEO Sonia Syngal told CNN, calling the discrepancies the company’s “biggest challenge.” 

Restaurants in reopening states are also adapting to a new normal. Many are struggling.

Tennessee restaurant reopening coronavirus



Jason Kempin/Getty Images


With limits on capacity and questions around whether it is safe to reopen dining rooms, some restaurants are choosing not to do so

Garden Fresh — the parent company of regional salad bar chains Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes — will permanently close all 97 of its locations, with CEO John Haywood telling Restaurant Business that it did not “see a viable way to reopen.” 

Meat production has plunged, leading experts to warn about shortages and rising prices.

meat grocery store

A shopper surveys the overflowing selection of packaged meat in a grocery early Monday, April 27, 2020, in southeast Denver.

AP Photo/David Zalubowski


Meat-processing plants have become new hot spots in the pandemic, leading to closures and reduced production. 

A new report from CoBank, a cooperative bank that is part of the Farm Credit System, predicted that pork and beef prices could rise by as much as 20% compared to 2019.

Meat shortages have had ripple effects; Wendy’s, for example, has pulled burgers from the menu at some locations due to shortages of fresh beef. 

Real Life. Real News. Real Voices

Help us tell more of the stories that matter

Become a founding member
More:

Retail Apocalypse
coronavirus
Retail
Reopening the economy

Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.