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The Drive-Thru: StockX faces a coronavirus crisis, TJ Maxx and Ross cause problems, and restaurants reopen

Kate Taylor   

The Drive-Thru: StockX faces a coronavirus crisis, TJ Maxx and Ross cause problems, and restaurants reopen

Well folks, we've made it through another week!

The second round of PPP loans launched on Monday. On Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order compelling meat processing plants to stay open. And, every day of the week I have been listening in on various fast-food earnings calls.

Read on for all the retail news you might have missed this week. And, if you were forwarded this newsletter, you can subscribe here to get The Drive-Thru — written by me, Kate Taylor, and Shoshy Ciment — in your inbox every Friday.

StockX is facing a crisis during the coronavirus pandemic

Shoshy reports that StockX initially kept its authentication centers open when states ordered nonessential businesses to shut down in March. Internal sources told her that there have been seven confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout the company.

The buzzy sneaker resale platform recently laid off 12% of its workforce, as employees worry about safety issues.

"We are currently part of the problem and not the solution," said a message sent to the company's Slack channel. "By having our facilities continue to stay open we are on the wrong side of history."

Read the full scoopy story here.

Restaurants reopen, but new problems emerge

Irene and I have been trying to untangle how restaurants are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, as states begin to allow dining rooms to reopen. Here are some of our takeaways:

Read more about UBS's grim outlook for 2020 here.

Shuttered TJ Maxx and Ross stores are causing huge problems in the retail industry

Madeline reports clothing retailers are facing a massive inventory problem as stores — including off-price stores — across the country stay closed.

Typically, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, and Burlington are an avenue for full-price retailers to offload products that haven't been selling well at their own stores. But, off-price retailers aren't taking orders because they're closed, so brands are left without that option.

How are retailers responding? Well, at least some of them are reopening stores. Simon Property Group, the biggest mall operator in the US, will open 49 of its shopping centers over the next several days. And, Macy's plans to reopen 68 stores next week.

As stores reopen, Mary reports that shoppers can expect to see some major changes, including appointment-only stores and robots stocking shelves.

Read how off-price retails staying closed is making retailers' problems even worse here.

Feminine care startups see big opportunities in barren drugstore shelves

Bethany reports on how companies like Thinx and Top see the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity. Sales are surging, as some traditional feminine care brands see shortages and customers shelter in place.

In the words of Maria Molland, CEO of Thinx: "Periods don't stop for pandemics."

Read the full story here.

Inside Amazon's coronavirus response

Hayley interviewed Amazon's vice president of worldwide workplace health and safety, Heather MacDougall.

"I've learned in my first year with Amazon that there's speed in business, there's Amazon speed, and now there's pandemic speed," she said. "We've had to think fast and move quicker."

Read the full interview here.

Everything else you need to know:

Plus, two history lessons:

If this is your first time reading The Drive-Thru, subscribe here to get the newsletter in your inbox every Friday!

Read the original article on Business Insider


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