UNITED STATES─When I heard the news on Sunday that high-end retailer Neiman Marcus was looking to file bankruptcy as early as this week it punched me in the gut. How so? It just made it crystal clear to me how serious this pandemic and shutdown of the economy is impacting all businesses across the globe. I mean this is not me saying a high-end retailer cannot take a hit, but you expect it more with more moderate retailers where people frequent their doors more often.

I mean there have been rumblings about similar fates for JC Penney, Macys and even Nordstrom. Nothing has been confirmed, but when you hear about store closure that is always a sign that bad things are coming. I mean look at what happened with titan furniture company Art Van which recently shuttered all of its doors a few weeks ago. Sears, a retailer that had been around for years, has all, but closed its doors for many of its stores.

I’ve said this before; if you close a business for a down it can place a major hamper on revenue, but look at what many of these retailers who have NOT been in operation since mid-March. They have literally gone almost 6-8 weeks with no revenue stream. Yes, you have online sales, but people are not buying because of several reasons 1) there is no money 2) concerns about shipping and delivering 3) the focus is on essential needs and not wants. I was one of the first people who argued as soon as things got back to normal that I planned to hit all the retailers that I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks, but that no longer holds true. Why?

My focus is on saving money and ensuring that I don’t fall into another predicament where I don’t have some savings stashed away. I don’t think there is any American who wants to face such a predicament and I don’t care who you are. This is a major wakeup call for many of us and for the retailers I think it shows they have to be competitive with online marketing. I’m a firm believer when it comes to certain things you just have to touch, feel or try them on.

You cannot purchase everything online and even if you could, why would you? If this quarantine has taught us anything I think the biggest is that being at home 24/7 is driving many of us crazy. So that should be a sign to get out to the stores more now than ever once things start to subside and get back to normal. I like going to a retailer. I like touching and looking at the items I’m going to purchase. I like to interact with people and have the feeling of being in the presence of others.

When you’re shopping online you don’t get ANY of that, and what’s worse a lot of the time what you purchase is never what you actually think it is. As a result you’re headed back to the retailer to return that item you purchased that did not end up being what you thought it was. The sad reality is I fear this is ONLY the beginning; there are many other retailers that I sense will be in similar predicaments as Neiman Marcus. They will file for bankruptcy or bankruptcy protection and hopefully find a way to manage their finances to keep their doors open.

There are already so many people who have lost their jobs because of this pandemic, and if it continues any longer than what it has already transpired, we’re looking at a situation where a lot of people will be out of jobs and that is not a good sign for the economy to bounce back at all America, not at all.

Written By Zoe Mitchell