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Smith's Research & Gradings
Volume: 
XXVIII
Issue: 
6
Author: 
April 20, 2020

Smith's Research & Gradings

Smith's Q3 2020 Index

Malls and Retail Shopping

"The American Dream Mall was a nightmare to begin with and it is never going to work in the new normal," according to a senior portfolio manager in Boston.

Indeed. The American Dream Mall is the poster child for what went wrong during the last bull market in high-yield municipal bond: Excessive amounts of debt; Bloated feasibility studies; Revenue streams that are thin and tenuous.

Moreover, there is a case being made that retail shopping centers and malls were never going to work. "If there is any lesson from the COVID-19 crisis it's that people are shifting to shopping on the internet," a portfolio manager from New York said. "Amazon is doing a record business."

Online Shopping Spree

Overall, demand for retail delivery is booming with shopping app global downloads hitting 106 million during the week of March 29 and April 4, 2020, according to App Annie, which provides App Intelligence. App Annie says online shopping at the beginning of April was up 15% from the weekly average in January 2020. Downloads in the U.S. alone were 14.4 million — up 20% from the same period.

The big winner was Walmart Grocery, which jumped  a whopping 460%.  Amazon saw a 20% growth in average daily downloads from January.

The record demand for online grocery shopping amid the COVID-19 pandemic has sent the apps for grocery pickup and delivery services up the charts. Walmart Grocery, as a result, has now hit an all-time high in downloads — grabbing the No. 1 ranking position across all Shopping apps in the U.S. on April 5, 2020, and surpassing Amazon by 20%, according to App Annie.

Take notice

Stay on top of the latest global news that can impact your investment strategy.

La Niña and Arctic Oscillation Bring Winter Storms

Extreme winter weather hit 44 states and caused power outages for millions of Americans. Texas reported 10 deaths due to the cold temperatures. Smith's ESGradings has conducted decades of research on climate change. This year's events are due, in part, to La Nina.

Silver Line and Purple Line Problems Underscore Challenges to Economic Development Plans

Economic development related to transportation in and around Washington, D.C. underscores the tremendous limitations and challenges facing the area.

Pandemic Event Risk: National Emergency Extended

The National Emergency has been extended according to a letter from President Joe Biden to The Congress of the United States.

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