When it comes to the state of the retail and fashion apparel industries, the glass is either half full — or half empty. It depends on who you ask.
Online brands and the retailers who fared well during the 2017 holiday shopping season see the glass as half full. Sales were strong, with gains coming in at 4.7 percent while online sales rose 16 percent, according to some analysts. The National Retail Federation is also optimistic, and it recently issued a bullish outlook for the industry. But for many of the traditional retailers such as chain stores and department stores, the retail landscape is so challenging that stores must be shuttered and employees laid off.