Getting back to some semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy in the U.S. is entirely dependent on the nation’s ability to get a handle on the coronavirus.

Medical professionals and public policy experts have been pointing to individual and business safety measures as a means to tamp down the spread of the virus, but achieving herd immunity is the only currently viable path to that happening.

If the vaccine does not prove to be the medicine that retailers are counting on to help them bring their businesses back, there is clearly more pain ahead for the industry. CNBC reports that Coresight Research is forecasting that up to 10,000 stores will be closed this year.

RetailWire Discussion: Do you think currently reluctant Americans will get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is made available or will they continue to hold out, keeping the nation from reaching herd immunity? Are retailers prepared for a future in which the virus may remain a year-round fact of life because herd immunity is not reached? Join the discussion at

“I believe that eventually even reluctant Americas will get the vaccine – but it will take time. Given all the misinformation about vaccines along with the poorly executed rollout, it’s understandable that people are reluctant.

Ultimately, I think the impact on retailers is that this is going to be a much longer recovery time than first expected. This will be especially felt in apparel and other non-discretionary categories.

With an effective vaccine now available, we are at the beginning of the end, but the end is still a way off.”

Mark Ryski

Author, CEO & Founder HeadCount Corporation