retail

The retail industry, rife with bankruptcies and shuttered stores long before the coronavirus, is facing its biggest test yet.

Lockdowns triggered by the pandemic have forced the temporary closures of 263,000 stores, according to GlobalData Retail, and analysts say it remains to be seen how many will be able to reopen.

A number of the nation’s most iconic brands are at risk of disappearing, as weeks-long lockdowns and deep economic unrest disrupt consumer spending. More than 100,000 stores could disappear by the end of 2025, according to UBS. There already are signs of distress: Retail sales plummeted 8.7 percent in March, their worst drop on record, and analysts say conditions will only worsen in the coming months.