Arizona retail analyst says in-store experience is ‘not going to be fun’

May 6, 2020, 1:00 PM | Updated: 7:24 pm

BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 05: A woman wearing a protective face mask who said she did not mind being ph...

BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 05: A woman wearing a protective face mask who said she did not mind being photographed shops in the liquor section at the KaDeWe department store on the first day KaDeWe fully reopened during the novel coronavirus crisis on May 05, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Germany is carefully lifting lockdown measures nationwide in an attempt to raise economic activity. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — While retail stores will be allowed to reopen across the state on Friday, one Phoenix-area retail analyst says shoppers will be stepping onto a different landscape than before.

Industry locations have been closed statewide since Gov. Doug Ducey gave his stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s a great thing that retail is opening back in the state of Arizona but it will be different and it’s not going to be fun, so just prepare for that,” retail analyst Kristin Bentz told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday.

“It’s going to be long lines, social distancing, masks, plexiglass, don’t touch the merchandise and don’t try anything on but please give us your money.”

Bentz also added that shoppers go to stores for what the industry calls “experiential retail.”

“You want to go to the store, hang out and you get a feel for it,” Bentz said.

“We call that ‘lingering time’ in retail, where you want to spend time and shop and try things on. That’s going to be gone, so kind of the romance of shopping is going to be really taken out of that.”

Bentz says retailers will have to rearrange merchandise on sales floors in order to accommodate to federal social distancing guidance, but she isn’t sure if some businesses will be able to make it as a result.

“I don’t know how retailers are going to be able to survive and restaurateurs and bar owners if they have to put in place all of these methods for social distancing, hand sanitizing, staff and expect to make money with half the space and half the ability to serve their customers,” she said.

“So it’s scary. It’s scary to see what’s going to happen. … It’s going to be a very strange experience, at least for right now.”

Bentz projects that many middle-market retailers such as Stein Mart, Stage Stores and Belk aren’t going to make it.

In fact, The Gap, Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom have already begun closing stores, while J.Crew filed for bankruptcy on Monday.

“If you were having problems before, you’re really going to hit the mat after. So there will be a lot of retailers that just won’t survive,” Bentz said.

“You’re going to see that for some of these retailers, it may not be worth it to stay in business and that’s what’s scary.”

So who exactly is set up to survive the new normal of in-store retail shopping?

Bentz says that to look at companies like Nike and Starbucks that have already experienced closing and reopening stores with social distance guidance oversees.

“They’ve seen it in Asia and it’s already working, they’re working around it,” Bentz said.

“Companies like that, that already had a great blueprint in place and can execute can survive — doesn’t mean thrive — it just means survive.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Amkor Technology to bring semiconductor facility to Peoria...

Serena O'Sullivan

Peoria City Council paves the way for new semiconductor packaging and test facility

Tempe-based Amkor Technology is set to launch an advanced semiconductor packaging and test facility in north Peoria, officials said.

1 hour ago

Sunnyslope campus...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona Humane Society closing Sunnyslope campus, new facility set to open in Phoenix

The Arizona Humane Society's Sunnyslope campus is in the process of being relocated to the Rob and Melani Walton Papago Park Campus.

2 hours ago

Paul Russell and Jake Hoot are among the scheduled performers for the Out of the Park Music Fest on...

City of Surprise to close out spring training with music festival

Surprise will finish its spring training season by hosting a music festival on the final day of games in the West Valley city.

2 hours ago

Doctors at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix used the FARAPULSE Pulsed Field Ablation Sy...

Kevin Stone

Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix debuts new atrial fibrillation treatment

Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix is now treating atrial fibrillation with a new device that reduces the risk of complications.

2 hours ago

Person planting a 5 foot tree...

Some residents in Mesa qualify for a free shade tree

Qualifying Mesa residents can now enroll in the city's tree shade program, which offers eligible participants the opportunity to plant a tree in their yard at no cost.

10 hours ago

Teen girl accused of attacking, robbing victim, Gilbert police say...

Gilbert PD arrest teen girl accused of attacking victim in youth violence case

The Gilbert Police Department said on Tuesday it arrested a teen girl accused of attacking and robbing a victim in September 2023.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.


Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

Arizona retail analyst says in-store experience is ‘not going to be fun’