Analysts are speculating that the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating a long-standing trend: the shift away from department stores and toward off-price retailers. All the uncertainty could be increasing shoppers' appetite for bargains, and retailers such as Ross Stores are benefitting. As many retailers close stores, Ross is opening them: 66 this fiscal year. That is short of the 100 new stores that the chain had originally planned, but it is still stands in sharp contrast to the struggling department store retailers.
BMO Capital Markets analysts in a Tuesday client note said they "continue to see off-pricers as long-term share takers in a post COVID-19 world, amid department store dislocation."