Long before retail was impacted by social distancing, the American mall was fighting for its survival. Early signs of this were everywhere: perpetual discounting and promotion, insufficient staffing numbers, stale inventory, and outdated storefronts. Even a junior financial analyst could identify the culprit; a number of these retailers are highly-leveraged assets. As a result, a deluge of layoffs and closures began within two weeks of foot traffic falling. What will a healthy retail ecosystem look like when normalcy returns?
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