Consumers’ spirits are getting a boost from the anticipation of COVID-19 stimulus checks and the growing number of vaccinations. The initial reading of consumer sentiment rose to 83 in early March from 76.8 in February according to an index produced by the University of Michigan. It was the index’s highest level in a year.
One year ago, financial markets were peering over the edge of a cliff of unprecedented magnitude. Commercial real estate markets braced for impact as the pandemic caused a complete shutdown of many stores and businesses, starving them of the cash flows they needed.
From Depop, a GenZ-fave social shopping platform for secondhand clothing to athletic goods global powerhouse Nike, Fast Company’s annual ranking of “The Top 10 Most Innovative Retail Companies of 2021” shows how broad the retail landscape had become — and the changing nature of retail innovation.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic, and if there had been any doubt before, the U.S. realized it had an unprecedented problem to deal with. A year of work-from-home orders, lockdowns, and social distancing has hit the commercial real estate sector hard.
In the first weeks and months of the coronavirus pandemic, real estate professionals were asking one question again and again: Will it be as bad as the 2008 recession? As panic gripped financial markets amid unprecedented global lockdowns, real estate was trying to understand the extent of the downturn it might be facing.
Commercial real estate is a core asset class with unique investment attributes and return drivers. This has been demonstrated over time and is the reason that 83 percent of financial advisors in the U.S. recommend REITs. Investments in REITs are investments in real estate, providing the same long-term real estate returns and diversification benefits.
COVID-19 created a significant rise in domestic e-commerce spending, with long-term impact. According to new data from the Adobe Digital Economy Index, the pandemic gave U.S. e-commerce an extra boost of $183 billion, as consumers flocked online to meet their daily needs.
Toys “R” Us has a new owner, one that is committed to bring the brand back to brick-and-mortar. WHP Global announced that it has acquired a controlling interest in Tru Kids Inc., parent company to the Toys”R”Us, Babys”R”Us, Geoffrey the Giraffe brands, and more than 20 related consumer toy and baby brands.