Admittedly, the athleisure and athletic wear space was one where we expected to see a rapid and significant recovery. Yet, the magnitude and speed of the recovery deserve extra note because many of the brands that headline the sector are facing significant challenges that make the success all the more impressive.

Like the home improvement sector, home furnishings leaders saw that strength continue into 2021. But as retail increasingly reopens and normalcy increasingly returns, the big question of whether the peaks are sustainable, and which brands might be best positioned arises.

In spite of pessimistic predictions made during the height of the pandemic, the fitness sector is experiencing an impressive offline recovery. And while the sector’s recovery pattern can undoubtedly be tied to an accelerated pandemic-influenced health trend, there is another significant contributor to its gradual growth in visits. Fitness brands are internalizing and quickly adapting to new challenges and shifts in consumer behavior patterns.

Considering the unique effects of COVID, QSR brands were among the best situated in all of offline retail, but especially the dining sector.

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The retail landscape is changing, but the last year has proven the fundamental importance and centrality of physical retail. The result is not a doomsday, retail apocalypse scenario but instead a newer, more sophisticated ecosystem that places emphasis on the full range of value driven by an offline location.

Returning retail normalcy is driving visits up across sectors, but there may not be a brand better positioned to enjoy the unique post-COVID environment than McDonald’s.

From serving as the one-year mark since the onset of the pandemic in the U.S. to potentially highlighting the beginning of retail’s return to normalcy, Q1 was very important.

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