It is no secret that the Coronavirus has caused more harm than good. It has disrupted the school year, people’s social lives, people’s mental health and physical well-being. Although it has caused harm, it has also caused good as air pollution has decreased, more family bonds have formed and more hobbies such as cooking, baking, pottery and so forth have been taken on. Starting a new hobby has been easy because of the convenient shopping at our local grocery or craft stores, however, what will happen if those stores close down?
According to CBS News, 10 000 stores are expected to close by the end of 2021, Prada, Victoria Secret and GAP are just a few examples. This is due to factors such as: most consumers favouring the convenience and safety of shopping online and the effect of the pandemic on the financial fragility of businesses. Many businesses have lost sales due to the lockdowns, meaning they were not able to pay all their expenses. When the lockdown levels were lifted, some businesses had enough capital to reopen but the others did not, hence leading to their closure. Local businesses took the biggest hit because many of them did not have websites or basic necessities, which led to more of them closing down. In addition, this led to a decline in the economy because local businesses create employment for many citizens. According to Global Bank, global growth could shrink by 8% due to businesses closing down and this could lead to recessions in many countries, including South Africa.
The Coronavirus is not the only thing that is causing the closing of stores, the growth in technology is too. By 2050 it is estimated that there will be an availability of artificial personal assistants and that almost everything will be controlled by technology. In recent years, technology has grown so much to the point where we can research anything in the blink of an eye and stream any songs or movies in seconds. Due to this, many businesses that depend on physical sales have begun to close down; an example includes Musica. It is reported that Musica has had declining sales due to the global shift from physical format music to digital, therefore the pandemic had made it more difficult for the business to resume operations. This shows that the rise in technology will lead to the closing of many stores which might be great for the digital world but not so much for the economy.
In conclusion, businesses whether big or small need the support of people in order to keep operating. One can support businesses by visiting their physical sites, especially those that do not have websites. This will lead to business growth which is great as they always say, “Growth is growth, no matter how small.”