From: Iowan in MD/DC
Much of brick and mortar retail was close to it's last gasp before Covid, this will help hasten it's end. Lots of people figured out how to get most of what they want delivered and retail won't recover. Nobody is sure what the new normal will be but it will have a lot less stores. I've heard from smart people that the reason you haven't sen too many bankruptcies yet is because store inventory is part of the asset and those liquidation sales help lessen the restructuring impact. You go bankrupt when you can't liquidate your remaining assets and you pretty much loose them. Expect lots of big retail bankruptcies this year. The world has moved on
I disagree on the conclusion that the world has moved on. Online, direct-to-consumer lowered the barrier to entry into markets, but . You can see the importance of in-person retail in Casper's plans (the successful online mattress company) to open 200 B&M stores (among others) after previously partnering with Target for in-store retail. Link: https://www.retaildive.com/news/mapping-the-physical-locations-of-dtc-brands/565597/
Buy online, pick up in-store is also a thing that is going on.
That's not to say that there aren't lots of small B&M businesses that will go belly-up - unless Congress and the President can agree to swoop in with an enhanced small business protection program, like covering their business's expenses so that when allowed to open back up they can just call their employees back in and start operating again. This is technically possible.
Also some larger chains, such as J.C. Penney, that are going to go bankrupt or already have (like JCP). That said, bankruptcy is sometimes just a restructuring rather than The End.
Realistically, the B&M that will stay in business will be the B&M's with meaningful in-person interaction (handmade stuff, like nice furniture, or other things that you just can't get in the same way online), and the stuff that you need a physical location for (restaurants, services like tailoring, printing, etc.). The general purpose stores with replaceable products will go away. And that's fine in a zoomed-out view (obviously, there are person-scaled tragedies in that macro story). Further, that will always be a segment of the population that wants to feel it before they buy it, even if there are generous online return policies - which still serve to either make the equivalent products more expensive or more inconvenient.
I guess if we call traditional retail those that sell replaceable products, then sure - and honestly, if that killed some of the market power of the Walmarts and Targets of the world in favor of smaller scale businesses, I'm really good with that.