Burlington Retail Chain With No Website Thrived During Covid : The Indicator from Planet Money Burlington shut down its online store right as the pandemic started, but it still weathered 2020 well. In fact, its stock prices just hit an all time high! What's Burlington's secret to success?

How Burlington Powered Through 2020 Without A Website

How Burlington Powered Through 2020 Without A Website

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Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images
This photograph of the inside of a Burlington store is from 2008. (Photo by Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images)
Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images

Burlington seemed to have made a totally insane decision right as the pandemic began. On March 5th, 2020, it announced that it was shutting down its online store, just weeks before COVID-induced lockdowns would cause retail sales to plummet across the country. But a year later, Burlington stock prices have hit an all time high.

How did Burlington power through the pandemic, especially without an online store?

Formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory, the retail chain sells a similar selection that you might find at a department store, but at a discount. Off-price brands like Burlington — and its bigger rivals T.J.Maxx and Ross — are known for their seemingly random selection: think a bedazzled Michael Kors belt next to some children's pajamas. The idea is to draw people in with this promise of a "treasure hunt," a business model that's central to both the story of Burlington success in the pandemic and its decision to shut down the website.

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