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Retail & Apparel - US

2021 Outlook changed to stable in the fourth-quarter 2020 as the worst of the initial pandemic fallout started to ease

Profit growth in 2021 will be highest for retailers that bore the brunt of the pandemic related dislocation like department stores, off-price and specialty retailers. However, downside risks are high as uncertainties regarding the trajectory of new coronavirus cases and the economy still remain.
Mickey Chadha
Vice President – Senior Credit Officer
Moody's Investors Service

Podcast - Outlooks Connections Episode 4

Shifting consumer behavior spurs upheaval in US retail and threatens US shopping malls

Analysts Mickey Chadha and Kevin Fagan discuss the outlook for US retail and the credit conditions for the US commercial mortgage-backed securities market in 2021. They outline how the coronavirus pandemic is rapidly accelerating digitization, which is increasingly dividing retailers into digital-haves and have-nots, reshaping mall design and determining which retail tenants are attractive to the market.

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US Retail

Discretionary retailers will lead US industry profit growth in 2021

US retail operating profit will grow about 20% in 2021, with growth most pronounced in hard-hit discretionary sectors. Our outlook is now stable based upon this stronger-growth trajectory, but downside risks remain high due to uncertainties related to economic growth and the trajectory of new coronavirus cases.

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