Submitted by Stella Dale from New Trier High School in Illinois.
It has been six months since the start of 2020, and to say we have hit a rough patch in this century would be an understatement. Many different factors contribute to how our economy is doing in the United States. Some contributes towards failure this year might be the Coronavirus or the recent protests and looting over African American rights in the community. More specifically, retail hasn't been the most steady. Forcing many stores to file for bankruptcy or liquidation. The first of many in this decline, J. Crew. This online/in-store classic and preppy store, was doing fine before Covid-19 hit. After a short while, they filed for bankruptcy, before other chains such as Papyrus and Neiman Marcus soon followed. Large stores for example, Nordstrom, haven't been doing too hot in the stocks either. Their sales drastically dropped in late February hence the pandemic, however their sales have now increased due to stores opening. Its no doubt in my mind that large chains like department stores and big brands can keep their stores open and keep employees. My biggest concern—the small businesses. These small businesses do not have stocks for people like you and I to invest in. Their income relies strictly on sales and customers coming in their workplace, or shopping online. Stores are only recently taking their shops online, unless they are based on the internet. During the first month of the lockdown, families were under orders to only leave their homes for necessities like groceries or the drug store. If the consumers weren't willing to come to these small stores to shop, how are these businesses supposed to keep from closing? Well, now more than teenagers use social media. Ever see those Instagram ads on your explore page? Those brands or stores are trying to promote their products by sending out advertisements to possible customers. Social Media has allowed these small businesses to stay open VIA Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. With small stores, large stores, little merchandise and big merchandise, they each have one thing in common. The retail and fashion industry has collectively struggled to maintain their companies open, and consumers are now willing to take baby steps to get that cute summer dress. As stocks are slowly going up, I encourage all of you to get excited for malls to open, so you can support local businesses and companies. Until then, stay safe, and don't forget to wash your hands.