Skechers has gone against the flow and tide, and opened MORE retail outlets in Singapore (source), despite all the onerous, excessive and unproductive regulatory COVID19 measures. Why? Simple.
1) Online has MORE competition.
Despite the market and government calls to go online, online (i.e. e-commerce) is NOT a panacea. It is just another platform for sales, just as bricks-and-mortar stores are. And since every merchant has gone online, you have MORE competition, and need to spend more money on data analytics, advertising, etc (often to less results). Ask yourself, if bricks-and-mortar" retail is "dead", why did Apple opened its latest swanky REAL retail store in the most luxurious district at Marina Bay?
2) Retail is the new "blue ocean".
When herds gravitate to ecommerce, and landlords and REITs are languishing, you have more bargaining power. If malls are not cooperative, you have suburb real estate to scout for and become your own retail space, while conforming to regulations. It can now be the new "blue ocean" since your competition has vacated.
Leadership is about courage, fighting against adversity, and flying against the herd mentality. Need a reminder? Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, Elon Musk, and many more, none of them were/are followers or conformists.
Real leaders LEAD, not follow.