It is difficult to evaluate the success of a company now-a-days given the relevancy and destructiveness of the novel coronavirus. COVD-19 has ravaged nearly every sector of the economy and taken countless lives. Perhaps one of the only industries to make a profit and grow during these times are big box retailers. These stores, such as Target and Walmart, were deemed essential at the beginning of the crisis. As such, they have shown far more resilience against the virus and receive the bulk of in-person shoppers.

Because big box stores offer a wide selection of products—from clothes to food to household items—they are far more preferable to consumers in these times. The rationale is as follows: why venture to three or four stores when you can just go to one and get everything you need? It is because of this mentality that smaller stores, businesses, and boutiques have suffered immensely during the pandemic. A market specialist reinforced this sentiment in a statement. “What used to happen before the pandemic is people used to shop at different stores for different products — and that has been disrupted because they don’t want to go outside,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData’s retail division. “The stores we do visit are the ones that are capturing more of our spend, and Target and Walmart have really benefited.

The CEO of Target expressed his amazement at the crazy surge in Target stock and explosion in sales. He said, “we’re sharing second quarter results that are, by virtually any measure, exceptional,” Target CEO Brian Cornell told investors on Wednesday. “The incredible resilience of our team, the way they’ve risen first to the pandemic, then to social trauma touched off in May here in Minneapolis is unlike anything I’ve seen or am likely to see again in my career.”

While the surge in sales has been amazing for big box retailers, it has had a very negative impact on small business. Thus, the pandemic has been a source of divergence, driving a wedge between small and big business. Many often claim that small business is the foundation and back bone of the economy, thus it is of utmost importance that they are protected. Hopefully the pandemic is curbed sooner rather than later so the economy can bounce back and will not have to lose many small businesses.