The Drive-Thru: stores reopen, the pandemic bankruptcies start, and meat shortages plague fast food and retail

Hello and happy Friday if you are still keeping track of the days of the week! Welcome back to another week of The Drive-Thru, Business Insider's weekly round-up of everything restaurants and retail. Somehow, we're in May already. And apparently April showers bring May bankruptcy filings ... and meat shortages (?). But we'll get to that. Keep reading for everything you need to know! By the way, if you were forwarded this newsletter or stumbled upon it by chance, congrats! Now you get the chance to subscribe here to get me, Shoshy Ciment, and my colleague, Kate Taylor in your inbox every Friday. Meat shortages plague fast-food and retail The coronavirus pandemic is causing serious issues in the American supply chain, particularly in meat factories. Tyson, the largest US meat producer, warned that meat shortages were likely —  and fresh meat prices were up 8.1% at the end of April. Plus, a new report from CoBank says that Pork and beef prices could increase by 20% in the coming months. Stores like Giant Eagle, Kroger, and Costco are limiting meat purchases in some locations to offset the shortage. Meanwhile Impossible, a plant-based protein company, has rushed to fill the meat void, announcing it will sell plant-based "beef" grounds at over 1,700 Kroger stores across the US. On the fast-food side, some Wendy's stores are running out of burgers, but the chain says it has no plans to serve hamburgers made with frozen beef.  As for McDonald's, the chain's CEO Chris Kempczinski said he is confident in the company's meat supply chain in an interview with Good Morning America on Thursday. Kohl's, Macy's, Ulta Beauty, and Gap are reopening stores — with a few changes  Retailers like Kohl's, Macy's, Ulta Beauty, and Gap have all announced plans to start reopening stores. Hayley took a look at how the shopping experience will change. Fitting-room closures and quarantines of returned goods are among some of the changes shoppers can expect. Plus, malls are starting to reopen in some states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Indiana with newly implemented changes to enforce social distancing and hygiene measures. Madeline gathered some photos of these newly opened malls and the scenes are pretty eerie. On the restaurant front, some chains are choosing to reopen dining rooms while others are waiting it out: Here's a running list to keep track of it all. Pandemic bankruptcies plague retail: Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, and True Religion J. Crew filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, making it the first major retailer to file for the protection amid the coronavirus pandemic. The retailer, which was already plagued by a debt load and an identity crisis — said the filing won't change a lot for consumers, who can still shop online, send in returns and exchanges, and use gift cards. Gold's Gym also filed for bankruptcy on Monday. And other retailers followed suit throughout the rest of the week, including Neiman Marcus and True Religion. Check out our running list of pandemic-era retail bankruptcies, here. The bright side: Some DTC companies are thriving As major retailers struggle amid the pandemic, some digitally native direct-to-consumer companies are avoiding these pitfalls. I spoke to 10 CEOs from various DTC companies who revealed how their brands were poised for success when the pandemic began. Some highlights: Peace Out, a thriving DTC skincare brand says sales are soaring during the pandemic with twice as many orders of more than $500 each. And Magic Spoon, a direct-to-consumer cereal company, revealed why a killer social-media presence helped boost sales when the pandemic struck. Plus, a coronavirus meal kit boom has been great for Blue Apron, the meal kit company's CEO Linda Kozlowski told Bethany. The pandemic might actually help the company finally make a comeback. A view from the C-Suites of Walmart and eBay Walmart's CEO Doug McMillon told us how he thinks the retail industry and world will change as a result of the coronavirus eBay's SVP of North America Jordan Sweetnam told us about the crucial advantage the e-commerce giant had over Amazon and Walmart when the pandemic struck SEE ALSO: $1 billion startup StockX was in turmoil long before the pandemic, with 2 prior rounds of layoffs and months of internal cost-cuts in a race toward profitability Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid

Continue Reading The Drive-Thru: stores reopen, the pandemic bankruptcies start, and meat shortages plague fast food and retail

Purple Carrot CEO says national meat shortages will lead to a massive boom for plant-based food companies — while shedding light on the ‘barbaric’ meatpacking industry

As one of the only meal kit companies that are exclusively plant-based, Purple Carrot is finding itself in a unique sweet spot at the intersection of exploding demand for both meal kit services and meatless food options. As a result of national meat shortages, demand for meat alternatives was up 272.2% for the four weeks ending on April 11 compared to the same period last year, according to a Nielsen report. "This is going to shine a bright light on the seemingly barbaric food systems that we have to process meat in this country," Levitt said.  Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. As meat shortages continue to roil the country, Purple Carrot CEO Andrew Levitt is preparing for what he anticipates will be a massive boon for the already burgeoning plant-based food industry.  Among the smattering of meal kit companies that have popped up in recent years, Purple Carrot is one of the only ones that is exclusively plant-based — a competitive edge that may prove especially advantageous amid a national meat scarcity. As the coronavirus wages on, Levitt said the company is finding itself in a unique sweet spot at the intersection of exploding demand for both meal kit services and meatless food options. "Consumers are going to start taking a closer look at the way their food is produced and the food that they consume," Levitt told Business Insider. "[The shortages have] the potential to make people think twice about what it means to eat animal protein." Meatpacking plants emerged as major hotspots for the spread of the coronavirus at the end of April and early May, sickening workers and temporarily shuttering factories. With facilities closed, meat production plummeted, leaving grocery aisles empty and prompting companies to place limits on beef and poultry purchases.  The dearth of meat has provided an opportunity for plant-based companies like Impossible Foods to capitalize on the lack of meat. On Tuesday, Impossible Foods announced that it would begin selling its plant-based "beef" to 1,700 Kroger locations, as demand for meatless options spikes. According to a Nielsen report, demand for meat alternatives was up 272.2% for the four weeks ending on April 11 compared to the same period last year. Levitt said he anticipates sales to continue increasing at his own company. In recent weeks, Levitt said its member skip rate — in which a user can pass on a week of meals — decreased by 20%. Meanwhile, the number of meals purchased has increased, and the cost to acquire new users "has dropped substantially," he said.  "Purple Carrot has the potential to disproportionately benefit over the long term as consumer sentiment towards eating meat may shift," he said. "I think we'll be seeing more people say 'Gosh, maybe I should be eating less meat because of what's happening.' Plus, it may get even harder to even meat, depending on how long these plant shutdowns continue." Levitt said the meat shortages are also highlighting concerns around how these meat facilities are operated, and exposing a lack of safety and health protocols.  "This is going to shine a bright light on the seemingly barbaric food processing systems that we have to process meat in this country," Levitt said. "It had the potential to shine a brighter light on the value of eating a plant-based diet."   SEE ALSO: Blue Apron CEO Linda Kozlowski reveals how the coronavirus meal kit boom may help the beleaguered company finally make a comeback Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid

Continue Reading Purple Carrot CEO says national meat shortages will lead to a massive boom for plant-based food companies — while shedding light on the ‘barbaric’ meatpacking industry

How small luxury retail businesses throughout the world are handling the pandemic — and their hopes for what comes next

Business Insider spoke to five small luxury retail businesses — located in Italy, Bangladesh, China, Switzerland, and the US — to see how they are coping amid the coronavirus pandemic. The cofounders of Boy Smells, a candle company located in California, have resorted to hand pouring over 300 candles a day from their home in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Gabo Guzzo, an Italian handbag company sold in retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman and Harrods, has pivoted its distribution strategy to solely e-commerce. Retail has been one of the hardest-hit sectors throughout the outbreak. It's unknown how long it will take the industry to rebound to pre-COVID levels, and many of the companies Business Insider spoke to said they're taking it one day at a time. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Small businesses throughout the world are being severely impacted by the economic fallout brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic. Consumers have become more conscious about their spending, as the US, in particular, is expected to enter into a financial crisis that rivals the Great Depression. Retail has been one of the hardest-hit sectors amid the pandemic, and stores across the world have been forced to shut down. Large retailers have canceled orders from supply manufacturers; factories had to close, and workers were sent home; nations shut their borders, preventing the import and export of materials. Luxury is expected to see a billion-dollar hit in sales, and experts think it will be at least a year before either sector begins seeing a return to normalcy again. Business Insider spoke to five small luxury businesses, located in Italy, Bangladesh, China, Switzerland, and the United States, to find out how they're handling a decline in sales, unsteady markets, the mental health of their employees, and what their hopes are for a post-coronavirus world. SEE ALSO: Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, designers and other industry leaders are finally reckoning with that. DON'T MISS: Dior reopened its factory so volunteer artisans can start making hand-sewn masks Matthew Herman and David Kien, cofounders of the candle company Boy Smells, have resorted to pouring 300 to 400 candles a day from their home in Los Angeles. Boy Smells is sold in over 300 locations worldwide, but as brick-and-mortar companies began closing in mid-March, the company told Business Insider that nearly all of their orders were canceled — and the supply chains it used to rely on also began to shut down. Quickly, the brand pivoted to e-commerce, and cofounders Matthew Herman and David Kien went back to pouring their own candles — something they hadn't done since the company first launched in 2016. One big issue the company has now been dealing with is trying to find ingredients for candles, as some necessary products are not able to be exported from the countries they used to source from. "We're faced with more out-of-orders and out-of-stocks, and shortages, and being able to sell," Herman told Business Insider. "Right now, we've had to limit wholesale almost next to nothing, just so we can serve our direct-to-consumer customers … Our wholesale managers have been put into customer service roles, and we have shifted our wholesale shipping staff to help with the direct-to-consumer teams." On a positive note, Boy Smells says that its social media following has grown tremendously during this time, and that their direct-to-consumer pivot has been successful — it now makes up 50-75% of their business. "People are sheltering-in-place and they want to invest in their home experience," Herman told Business Insider. "I think the small luxuries are what people are investing in. And it's about making the most and making the space that you're in, the best it can be." Herman said the company is aware of the looming recession, and says that after the pandemic, he hopes the company won't be as reliant on wholesale. "Every week there is a new supply chain issue," Herman said. "We've been hustling since the day we opened the business, and we've been growing exponentially every year. So it just kind of feels like a new hustle, just a new set of challenges to overcome." Swiss watch company H. Moser & Cie quickly mass ordered parts it needed to produce watches when suppliers and manufacturers began closing throughout Europe. H. Moser & Cie quickly changed the way it was running, as the pandemic began to strike Europe. The company put a remote work policy in place and reduced its production capacity.  The company also accelerated the launch of its e-commerce platform, ShopNow, available on its website. H. Moser & Cie is setting up an online interactive boutique for customers and retailers to discover products and learn more about the craft of watchmaking. The company has also stocked up on parts needed to produce its watches, as many factories remain closed throughout Europe.  To ensure the ability to pay employees close to their full salaries, the company filed for economic support from its local government, hoping to reduce its capacity while still maintaining the salaries of its employees. Edouard Meylan, CEO of H. Moser & Cie, said that the company wanted to "be ready [rather] than sorry." "One of the support systems being provided by the state is that you can reduce your capacity to your need," Meylan told Business Insider. "My employees will only work 50% and I will only pay them 50%. The state will then pay 80% of the missing salary to the employee." In this case, Meylan said his employees are effectively receiving 90% of their salary, while only working 50% of the time. Meylan said he told his employees that "health is more important than anything" and to stay "creative" because the company will "need ideas … to rethink our business model." Amid the outbreak, the company had just released its Nature Watch, to help raise awareness around sustainability in the watch and jewelry industries. The watch is made from actual living plants and has to be watered twice a day. The company also released its Swiss Alp Watch, aiming to redefine the traditional watch for a modern audience.  Meylan said these recent watch launches have helped the company stay afloat during this turbulent time, as most of them were pre-sold and can still be delivered. "We have reallocated capacity to the products that we are sure to sell," Meylan said. "This gives us a 3-month visibility. After that, it is a blur and a bit scary, to be honest."  Lidia May, a luxe handbag company in Bangladesh, has always had a work-from-home model. But now, the company is dealing with reduced production capacity and manufacturing, as the virus causes a hit on its sales. Lidia May, a luxury handbag company founded by May Yang and Rasheed Khan in 2015, has always had a work-from-home model, as a way to train and work with underprivileged women who might not have the resources or the time to come into a physical office. The company started with the mission to help serve the local communities in Bangladesh, and has since become a place where women come to acquire artisanal skills.  But amid the pandemic, the company has had to shift a few of its practices. All of the bags are handmade, and Khan says that production has had to stop, because it becomes a health risk for the workers to come together to build them. The company says it's still paying the salaries of all of its employees and is also providing food for the workers who need it. "Their mental health and emotional health is something that we've really been thinking about all the time," Khan said. "We've managed to have a routine. People working from home are still in touch with each other and with us every day … we're trying to work on the community service to our own team and stakeholders, keeping them busy, keeping them feeling valued." As the wholesale world comes to a standstill, Yang says the company's sales have been deeply impacted. The company was not reliant on brick-and-mortar stores, and its products were primarily sold online; still, it is feeling the ripple effects of consumers becoming more cautious with their spending.  Khan says the company is not focused on sales at the moment, realizing that now might not be the best time to push sales on people who are dealing with the economic ramifications of the pandemic. Instead, the company is focusing on being "good community members" and is seeking to have a "reassuring voice" to its consumers.  "You look at our Instagram, it's almost like a personal relationship with [our customers]," Khan said. "We are providing a lot — locally, not just on social media — to help people with understanding the situation they're in, and making sense of it." After the pandemic, Yang and Khan say they hope the luxury retail industry pivots to become more sustainable. Both say they want companies, and specifically large conglomerates, to start becoming more appreciative of their employees. Yang feels that some companies have become so big, the wellbeing of their workers comes as a second thought. "We would like to see that brands are better stewards of the environment, of their customers, of their collaborators," Khan said. "And we would like to see consumers being more thoughtful in their consumption." Italian handbag company Gabo Guzzo was preparing to launch its new collection in Bergdorf Goodman. But now, its design studio and production workshops have shuttered, and the brand is adapting to the online retail market. Gabo Guzzo opened his eponymous business in 2017 and since then, has partnered with select luxury multibrand retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods, and Lane Crawford to sell unique handbags that Guzzo says focus more on "art" rather than "production."  But since the pandemic hit, his company has pivoted to online retail, because brick-and-mortar stores have temporarily closed. On top of that, his design studio in London, and many of his production workshops in Italy, remain closed. "The online world offers some helpful tools for remote working and passive escapes, but they can't replace a creative brainstorming session in the pulsating energy of the studio, or a design development discussion with the artisans," he said.  Perhaps fittingly, he points out that his latest collection was inspired by the idea of "metamorphosis," as well as a short story by the Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu.  "'When he awoke, he did not know if he was a man who had dreamt he was a butterfly or a butterfly who was dreaming he was a man,'" Guzzo loosely quoted the 3rd-century story, Zhuangzi's Butterfly Dream. "The unbelievable reality of the pandemic adds a few more layers of meaning to the work." Guzzo says that since the pandemic has hit, his days have "changed suddenly" and he has been adapting to running his business from home. After the pandemic, Guzzo hopes that luxury pivots to become more sustainable. He said there needs to be a balance of natural, as well as social and psycho-physical needs. Consumers, he said, must also rethink their consumption habits.  "Greed is not sustainable," he said. "I hope there will be widespread consensus towards value, durability and time over quantity, product obsolescence, and speed." Like most, he is unsure of how long the pandemic will continue to wreak havoc on retail, but says he has been inspired by the "resourcefulness, resilience, and generosity" which has come from it.  "While mankind ... fears what's next, nature has started to breathe again," he said. "Let's think and work together to learn from this and not waste the opportunity to become better humans." Shanghai-based consulting company SuperOrdinary saw a rebound in sales after the outbreak settled in China, but now it’s worried about the US markets. Julian Reis is the cofounder and CEO of SuperOrdinary, a Shanghai-based beauty and wellness consulting company that works to help international beauty brands break into the Chinese markets. Some of his most notable clients include Sephora staples Drunk Elephant and Supergoop. Reis tells Business Insider that his business has improved as more people pivot to the digital marketplace, and that his company's digitally-focused distribution channel helped protect it as brick-and-mortar stores began to close around the world.  "[Sales for] skincare and self-care products have increased from February to March," he said. "The markets have kind of stabilized since then. We did see some plateauing [of sales] in April … people are still a little cautious about their spending." Reis said the employees based in Shanghai have returned to the office, though everyone is still wearing masks, and that the markets in China have started to stabilize and slowly rebound. He also said that throughout China's outbreak, his company saw an initial increase in sales, followed by a quick decline, and then a sharp sales increase of 50% after the outbreak began to settle. Reis believes that now is the time for brands to develop a "robust" communication strategy, and worries that the pandemic's hit on the American retail market might force multi-brand stores to close in the future. Now, the company has started to focus its attention on the impact the pandemic is having on the US markets. Reis said his company has modified its marketing strategies to become more "relevant" as people started to spend more time at home. "We're trying to really put ourselves in the consumer's shoes and ask what should we really be selling them and how do we market to them at the end of the day," he said. "We had to become a lot more sympathetic and empathetic with what everyone is going through." Reis has been paying attention as over 30 million Americans file for unemployment, and US brick-and-mortar stores close, file for bankruptcy, or attempt to pivot their strategies to the digital space. He said the retail and unemployment situation was not as dire in China as it is in the US, and that this is the time for companies to rethink their strategies and distribution models.  "Until there is a vaccine, there is going to be ongoing instability, not just in America but globally," Reis said. "America is [one of] the most creative and entrepreneurial places in the world, so I think a lot of [new] businesses, products, and categories are going to come out of [the pandemic]."

Continue Reading How small luxury retail businesses throughout the world are handling the pandemic — and their hopes for what comes next

This Hong Kong restaurant group created a manual about how to handle the pandemic, and it’s become a blueprint guide for restauranteurs around the world

The owners of a Hong Kong restaurant group created a COVID-19 manual that was released publically and has become a blueprint guide for restauranteurs around the world.  At least half of what was first included in the book is now a government-mandated rule for all restaurants in Hong Kong.  The coowner told Business Insider that other restaurants shouldn't wait to go back to normal but learn how to exist in a COVID-19 world.   Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. When the coronavirus outbreak kicked off in January, Hong Kong was recovering from a six-month-long period of protests in the city, which had forced many restaurants and stores to close and cost the local economy billions of dollars. Restaurants in Hong Kong were still reeling from the effects of this when it quickly became clear that they might be approaching an even more tumultuous chapter.  The management team at Black Sheep, a popular neighborhood restaurant group in the city, were among the first to quickly clock on to the severity of the situation and start to make a plan of how to handle it.  "We had an inkling that this was going to be an issue and it was going to come to Hong Kong," Black Sheep cofounder Syed Asim Hussain said in a recent phone conversation with Business Insider. "Being in fight mode because of what was happening in the industry maybe helped us, and we were very swift to come together and say: 'What are things we need to do to keep our restaurants open?' Because closing the restaurants meant the full financial failure of the company," he said.  Hussain and his team took immediate action and set about in creating a set of guidelines that his 1,000 person team working across 23 restaurants were asked to follow in order to keep employees and guests safe as the restaurants stayed open.  This included anything from mandatory temperature checks on arrival to handwashing every 30 minutes and a ban on all physical contact – no handshakes, no high fives, and no fist pumps. It wasn't long before Hussain and his team was receiving calls from restaurants around the city who had heard about the rules they were enforcing and wanted advice. So, they decided to make their playbook public to help their neighbors. The book was quickly picked up by restauranteurs around the world as the pandemic spread and others stumbled to find solutions to keep their own businesses open. It became a global hit and is now being translated into four different languages.  In this time, the team was also invited by the Hong Kong government to advise policymakers on the work they were doing; at least half of what is in the book is now a rule in Hong Kong for all restaurants, Hussein said. This includes mandatory temperature checks, tables spaced six feet apart, and mandatory masks. "The response has been phenomenal, we have had hundreds of emails and social media messages from restaurant owners that are using the book everywhere from Brazil in the west to Japan in the east," he said. And most crucially, it has enabled Hussein to keep all of his restaurants open throughout this period, enabling the business to stay afloat. 'We were turning away dozens of guests on a nightly basis' Pre protests and pre coronavirus, Black Sheep's restaurants were brimming with customers most nights. Today, it's a very different scene. Even at their very busiest times, each location is only ever able to reach 50% capacity. This was a company rule first and is now mandated by the Hong Kong government.   On arrival, guests are asked to fill in a health declaration form, confirming that they haven't tested positive for the virus in the past 14 days, been in direct contact with someone who has, experienced any symptoms, or traveled outside of Hong Kong. They are also asked to provide their contact details so that the restaurant is able to easily contact anyone who has dined there in the future if they need to.  Next, they have their temperature taken using contactless thermometers (anyone with a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit would not be allowed in) and are shown to a table, spaced six feet apart from the next.  On each table, there are paper bags for guests to store their mask in while they eat, along with hygiene wipes and sanitizer. While parts of this process are now mandatory in Hong Kong, at the very beginning of the crisis they weren't, and convincing customers to sign forms and have their temperature checks taken was extremely difficult, Hussein said.  "We were turning away dozens of guests on a nightly basis," he said. For the first time, hospitality wasn't coming first, he added, safety was.  As other parts of the world slowly come out of lockdown, they are facing similar challenges and experts say there has been a rise in customers being more aggressive to retail or restaurant workers who are in charge of enforcing similar rules at their own locations.  Hussein has never wavered on his policies, however. "In my mind, there is absolute clarity around this, I am not going to put my people in harm's way. "This maniacal commitment we have had to these protocols have in some way have helped. Even if it increases our chances of success by 1%, we are going to keep doing it," he said. Keeping restaurants at 50% capacity every night isn't good for business either, and Hussein said that the hardest part of this crisis is the battle between mitigating full financial failure and fighting the virus. "Fighting on both these fronts has been very difficult," he said. "This has been the hardest 6 months of my life." But if he has one piece of advice for his fellow restauranteurs around the world it is that they shouldn't wait for things to resume to normal.  "Anyone waiting for things to return to normal is going to be waiting a long time. Things are not going to go back to what they were before and something that we are saying very loudly and clearly in our world is that there is going to be a new framework and all of us have to figure out how we are going to exist in that new framework," he said.  He added: "The successful ones will very quickly figure out how you operate in this new environment and implement strategies around that." Coming to terms with the fact that things may not return for a long time has been extremely hard for Hussein to digest himself.  "It is harder than hard but we have no choice," he said. "I say good restauranteurs are like jazz musicians; we have to improvise." And he certainly doesn't believe this is closing doors for all restaurants.  "I would argue that restaurants will be even more important when the dust settles. I am a big believer that restaurants are the last non-digital frontier, this is where people will go to to get away from their tablets and computers...Restaurants are going to come back," he said.  You can find a link to the manual here.  If you have a story to share please contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (646) 768-4716 using a non-work phone, by email to mhanbury@businessinsider.com, or Twitter DM at @MarySHanbury. SEE ALSO: Photos of people dining out in China post-lockdown offer a glimpse into what lies ahead for US restaurants Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid

Continue Reading This Hong Kong restaurant group created a manual about how to handle the pandemic, and it’s become a blueprint guide for restauranteurs around the world

Every day will be Black Friday with non-stop sales throughout the summer

Analysts are expecting retailers to be holding deep sales as stores start to reopen in the coming months.  Clothing retailers will have a lot of inventory to work through, and they'll want to get rid of seasonal items right away.  While deep discounts are a dangerous proposition for retailers, shoppers will likely want to take advantage of the deals.  Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. This summer, pretty much everything will be on sale.  As stores start to reopen in certain states, they'll be working through a bottleneck of inventory unlike any they've seen before.  "There's probably five times as much excess inventory out there than we've ever seen," UBS analyst Jay Sole told Business Insider. Stores will be working through piles of clothing that they were trying to sell back when stores were forced to shutter in March. Since clothing is inherently so tied to the seasons, stores will want to get rid of that inventory right away — and that means discounting.  "It's not easy to sell Easter dresses in August or September," Sole said.  Apparel retailers ran similarly deep discounts online throughout April when stores were closed across the US. That trend is likely to continue in brick-and-mortar stores once they're fully open again, in an event comparable to Black Friday.  While low prices will be welcomed by consumers — especially those who are less economically secure than they were before the coronavirus pandemic hit — retailers are typically reluctant to discount their products. Discounts can be damaging to their brand, and if promotions get too deep, stores are no longer making much money on their goods.  Clothing companies have few options for moving inventory aside from heavy discounting. Some may decide to pack away basics that are less seasonal and bring them back to stores next year. Manny Chirico, the CEO of PVH, which owns Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, said during an earnings call on April 2 that the company would consider such a solution. Retailers can also consider adapting production cycles, especially when it comes to "seasonless" items, like clothes for exercise, for example.  "Typically people will buy that at any time of the year," Sole said. "So there's no need to discount that product, because even if there's a little bit too much inventory right now, chances are what they can do is just stop making new yoga pants until they've sold all the ones that they have on hand." Simeon Siegel, a managing director at BMO Capital Markets, said there's reason to believe the promotional period won't last for months and months.  "[Some] companies all stopped ordering and making goods and clothes during this time period. So essentially, unlike any other crisis, companies were able to put their lives and their businesses on hold," Siegel said.  After a period of heavy discounting, things could be back to normal, he said. But, that all depends on whether people will feel safe enough to go to stores, as well as whether their budget will allow for discretionary purchases.  "I think that the duration of the duration of the stay at home mentality is going to dictate inventory focus," Siegel said.  SEE ALSO: Eerie photos of reopened malls show thinned-out food courts, roped-off play areas, and masked shoppers Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid

Continue Reading Every day will be Black Friday with non-stop sales throughout the summer

Photos show how the world is readapting to socially-distanced life during the coronavirus pandemic, from plastic table barriers to taped-up urinals

As some countries have started to lift their lockdown measures, public places have been making changes to adapt to government-issued social distancing measures.  More public places are using tape, floor markers and plastic dividers to help people comply with social distancing guidelines.  Photos show how people are trying to adapt to a new way of life during the coronavirus pandemic. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. As some countries begin to lift their coronavirus lockdown measures, public places have been getting creative to adjust to social distancing guidelines. From waiters wearing personal protective equipment to schools using plastic dividers between children, these photos show the world is adjusting to life under the coronavirus pandemic. SEE ALSO: LA's skies are smog-free and peacocks are roaming the streets of Dubai. Photos show how nature has returned to cities shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. As countries begin to slowly lift their lockdown measures, many changes have to be made to public life in an effort to prevent second waves of COVID-19. One of the places that have to adapt the most is restaurants. Some have been coming up with creative ways to enforce social distancing measures, including putting up dividers on tables. But in some places, a plastic divider is not enough. Diners in this Bangkok restaurant, for example, have been asked to sit diagonally from each other to maximize their distance. In other places, like this local Starbucks shop in Hong Kong, entire tables have been taped-off so that people can sit as far away from each other as possible. A restaurant in Amsterdam took social distancing to a whole new level, by seating its diners in small greenhouses that can accommodate up to two people — preferably from the same household. The Dutch restaurant, called Mediamatic Eten, plans to open on May 21.  Restaurant owners and staff members will also have to rethink ways of how to keep service in line with government rules. Some waiters have been seen wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to serve diners. Coffee chains and fast-food restaurants are also having to make changes during the pandemic. This cafe in Bangkok is using a contactless pulley system to serve its customers. But it's not just restaurants that need to adapt. Reopened sports facilities are being extra careful to avoid any social contact including this golf club in Washington, which is asking people to check-in and pay while talking over speakerphone As some sporting events are set to start again behind closed doors, live audiences are being replaced with banners with pictures of people wearing face masks. On May 5, South Korea's professional baseball league started up again in Seoul's empty Jamsil stadium. Players were required to wear masks as 25,000 seats were left empty, according to the Washington Post Other sporting events that are set to start again, but behind closed doors, include UFC and the Bundesliga.   One method seen in most countries involves using markers on the floor to help people comply with social distancing guidelines. From supermarkets... ...to pharmacies, and little shops... ...and even pedestrian walkways, like this one in Denmark. Social distancing on public transport is set to become another challenge. But authorities are using methods like taping off to seats to ensure that no close contact is made. Other measures include regularly disinfecting public transport. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the MTA will "disinfect every train every 24 hours." The floor markers have been used on train platforms, to ensure people stand 6-feet apart while waiting for their train. Other places adhering to social distancing guidelines include banks... ...hairdressers... ...and even public toilets, like these urinals seen in the UK. Children are also being prepped on social distancing in the countries where schools have been allowed to open again.

Continue Reading Photos show how the world is readapting to socially-distanced life during the coronavirus pandemic, from plastic table barriers to taped-up urinals