Insider Retail: The best retail stories of 2020 - and what to expect in 2021
Happy New Year! We've finally made it.
The year 2020 featured a global pandemic, an economic downward spiral, and an unforgettable presidential election. In the world of
Next week, we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programming. So if you haven't already subscribed, take the first step in making your 2021 much better than 2020 by clicking here and subscribing.Lastly, from all of us here at Insider Retail, thanks for sticking around throughout 2020! Here's to a happy - and hopefully more normal - New Year!
Now onto the roundup:polarizing impact on retail. While some companies endured major losses due to store closures and mandated stay-at-home orders, others were galvanized by a boom in panic-buying and e-commerce. The winners: Big-box
The losers: Many restaurants,
Forced closures and new safety regulations pummeled the restaurant industry in 2020.Twelve restaurant chains filed for bankruptcy last year in the wake of the pandemic. In total, the National Restaurant Association said about 110,000 restaurants locations have closed.
Many chains were forced to quickly adapt their business models to stay afloat. Changes included menu cuts, increased automation, and a new reliance on third-party delivery services.
According to some experts, these changes will likely persist in a post-pandemic world.
The rise in e-commerce boded especially well for direct-to-consumer brands, several of which reported massive growth in 2020. With limited brick-and-mortar store options and the fear of spreading the virus running rampant, shoppers sought out alternative ways to procure items like groceries and toiletries, flocking to companies like Imperfect Foods and Thrive Market.
And while the future of gyms and group fitness remains uncertain, many anticipate the virtual fitness trend is here to stay, as the pandemic makes lasting shifts to American lifestyles. According to the advisory firm Lincoln International, the global digital fitness market swelled to an estimated $27.4 billion in 2020, up 32.6% from 2017.Meanwhile, traditional brick-and-mortar gyms and studios felt the strain, leading to bankruptcies from major fitness companies like Gold's Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, YogaWorks, and Flywheel.
The wackiest new menu items to launch in 2020:
- Dunkin's Spicy Ghost Pepper donut
- The $6 Travis Scott meal from McDonald's
- TikTok superstar Charli D'Amelio's "The Charli" drink option at Dunkin'
- Chipotle's Tony Hawk Burrito
- Chick-fil-A's Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Mocha Cream Cold Brew
- Burger King's Impossible Croissan'wich
- KFC's fried-chicken-and-donut sandwich
- Popeyes' beignets stuffed with Hershey's chocolate
The wildest retail stories of 2020:
- Whole Foods tracked its employees with a heat map tool to see which stores were most likely to unionize.
- Inside McDonald's $1 billion racial-discrimination lawsuit and Black franchisees' push for equality.
- Hobby Lobby defied state-mandated orders to close non-essential businesses, quietly reopening stores and endangering employees.
- The company that makes Calvin Klein and Guess jeans forced workers to head back into a full-capacity office or be fired amid the pandemic.
- Ruby Tuesday Ruby stopped paying pensions to more than 100 retirees.
- A CVS district leader instructed pharmacy staff not to tell patients their medications were filled by someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
- The pandemic affected how Disney World employees made magic at "The Happiest Place on Earth."
- 1.28 lakh people over 60 years get 1st dose of COVID vaccine on first day
- Chinese hackers target Indian vaccine makers SII and Bharat Biotech: Report
- GST revenue up 7% year-on-year in February to over ₹1.13 lakh crore
- Here is the list of common side-effects of COVID-19, so that you don't panic if you get these
- These are the top 10 likely IPOs scheduled in March 2021