COVID-19 and the immediate and longer-term impacts on the retail and hospitality industries: dark stores and turnover-based rental models

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


COVID-19 disrupted the retail and hospitality industries. Non-essential retailers were forced to close. Essential retailers had to invest in expanding the capacity of their delivery services. This chapter explores the impacts that COVID-19 has had on the retailing and hospitality industries in different national settings including the UK, U.S., France, Ireland, and India. There are two key points. The first is that retail services have been experiencing the impacts of disruptive innovation based on the development of digital retail models. COVID-19 has intensified this disruption leading to forced rapid adoption but also acted as a tipping point for the failure of retail stores and chains. Second, companies have responded to COVID-19 by furloughing employees, but also converting high street stores into dark stores or online fulfilment centres. The pandemic has also forced retailers to try to persuade landlords to adopt turnover-based rental models. A new geography of consumer behaviour and retailing is emerging which will alter the rhythms of cities. This includes the shift towards homeworking and the impacts this will have on retail geography combined with an increase in online consumption.

Bibliographic note

Not yet published as of 26/03/2021.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLiving with Pandemics
Subtitle of host publicationPeople, Place and Policy
EditorsJohn R. Bryson, Lauren Andres, Aksel Ersoy, Louise Reardon
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Feb 2021


  • COVID-19, Retail, hospitality sector, dark stores, e-commerce, furloughing, turnover rental models, homeworking, consumption