Now that the Dust is Settling – The Future of Retail in a Post-Pandemic World

By Carlos Lopez, Executive Vice President, Hanley Investment Group Real Estate AdvisorsThe fears from the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying government-mandated shutdowns and social distancing measures transformed the way Americans, lived, worked, shopped, ate, exercised and watched movies. In many ways, the habits formed during the shutdowns have opened up opportunities to radically change many aspects of life.For the retail industry, the impact of COVID-19 in 2020 was profoundly …

Disneyland to Reopen California Amusement Parks on April 30

ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Disneyland Resort will reopen its theme parks Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park on April 30, with limited capacity and more than 10,000 cast members. Additionally, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will welcome guests starting on April 29, as part of Hotels of the Disneyland Resort’s phased reopening.To comply with government requirements and promote physical distancing, various new measures are in place at the park, with the Disneyland …

Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Chicago Stadiums to be at 20 Percent Capacity on Opening Day

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced plans to open Guaranteed Rate Field and Wrigley Field to White Sox and Cubs fans on each team’s Opening Day in April as part of the city’s “Open Chicago” efforts. The ballparks will be open at 20 percent capacity. Lightfoot evaluated capacity and restrictions in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Major League Baseball Association. Last week, the mayor increased indoor capacity at bars, restaurants and other …

Fry’s Electronics Permanently Closes Business Operations, Shuttering 31 Stores, Online Presence

SAN JOSE, CALIF. — San Jose-based Fry’s Electronics has decided to shut down its operations and close business permanently as a result of changes in the retail industry and challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.After nearly 36 years as a one-stop shop and online resource for high-tech consumers, Fry’s says it will implement a shutdown of its 31 stores across nine states through a wind-down process that will be in the best interests of the company, its creditors and other …

Another 900,000 Americans File for First-Time Unemployment Assistance

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Another 900,000 Americans have filed first-time unemployment insurance claims for the week ending Jan. 16, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. The most recent figure is a decrease of 39,000 claims from the previous week’s revised level of 926,000, but still remains higher than pre-pandemic levels. Initial weekly claims hovered around 200,000 in January and February of last year.The four-week moving average increased by 23,500 claims to 848,000 for the week …

The Presentation Of Obsolescence Helps Commercial Property Owners Achieve Successful Tax Appeals

By Angela Adolph, Esq.Judith Viorst, author of the children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, had nothing on 2020. By virtually every metric, 2020 was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.Most states have some sort of catastrophe exemption for a property tax abatement or reduction tied to a defined disaster event. These statutes are state-specific, however, and few states had authority to address whether a property had to have sustained physical …

Initial Weekly Unemployment Assistance Claims Jump to 965,000 as Coronavirus Cases Climb

WASHINGTON, D.C. — An additional 965,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment assistance for the week ending Jan. 9, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected the total to reach 800,000, similar to the previous week’s revised total of 784,000. A main reason for the increase in claims is further government restrictions due to the spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths. According to Johns Hopkins University (JHU), there have been 384,794 …

Indoor Dining Expected to Resume Feb. 1 in Michigan

LANSING, MICH. — The State of Michigan has continued its ban on indoor dining, but is expected to lift the restriction beginning Feb. 1. Indoor dining will resume with “mitigation measures, capacity limits and a curfew,” according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. For now, a new epidemic order issued by the department that is valid from Jan. 16-31 enables Michigan residents to participate in indoor group exercise and non-contact sports, as long as masks and social …

Detroit Auto Show Cancelled for 2021, Scaled-Down Version to Take Place in Pontiac

DETROIT — The Detroit auto show, officially known as the North American International Auto Show, has been cancelled this year, according to media reports. The show, which was originally scheduled to take place at TCF Center this summer and then postponed to September, will now be replaced by an event at a racetrack in Pontiac, about 20 miles northwest of Detroit. This reimagined version of the Motor Bella concept is scheduled to take place Sept. 21-26. Motor Bella, a showcase of European …

U.S. Economy Loses 140,000 Jobs in December, First Decline in Seven Months

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, marking the first overall decrease since May 2020, the Department of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected the report to show a gain of 50,000 jobs, still a muted expectation compared to November’s gains. The unemployment rate remained unchanged from November at 6.7 percent.The BLS highlighted increased COVID-19 cases and the effort to contain the pandemic as a major reason …

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