Larger businesses that managed to stay profitable were in a better position to open new locations. “Large retail businesses were open during the pandemic. They were incredibly busy and couldn’t afford to shift the focus away from satisfying customers,” Oliver added, “and then the big players on the hospitality side—similar to the big retailers—did really well.”
But even then, investment in physical expansion wasn’t a priority. “Think brands like Starbucks, McDonald’s and Wendy’s. They were extremely busy, so they had very little time to invest in a physical plan. Certainly, no new stores; they put new stores on hold,” Oliver said.
Small- and medium-sized businesses faced even greater challenges staying afloat. Flexible business models prevailed and the unfortunate cases where businesses failed have now been replaced by those that succeeded. And the ones that remain are in a much better position for expansion as the dust settles.
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