This article is part of a Fortune Special Report: Business in the Coronavirus Economy—a look at the impact of the pandemic on more than 50 industries.
It may be a misnomer to call anyone in retail a “winner” right now, when stay-at-home and social-distancing measures have shut down hundreds of thousands of US stores and threatened consumers’ spending for the foreseeable future. But look at the few chains that have managed relatively well in this chaotic time, and you’ll gather clues about what it will take to come out ahead in the industry, both now and long after the virus has been contained.
Walmart’s US sales reportedly jumped 20% in March as people stocked up on essentials—further boosted by a 190% increase in monthly downloads of its online grocery app, according to data tracker App Annie. Nike kept its China business from stalling, thanks to a fitness app that helped homebound consumers do quarantine workouts. And Lululemon Athletica has even reopened a few North American stores, not to serve walk-in customers, but to use inventory to fill online orders more quickly… Fortune