Friendship Heights, once known as a hub for high-end shopping, is struggling as the pandemic accelerates an exodus of retailers

In all, about a dozen retailers and restaurants have closed shop recently, adding to the already troubling number of empty storefronts along this section of Wisconsin Avenue on the D.C.-Maryland border.

“The pandemic obviously was a tipping point for many businesses,” said Nolan Rodman, who owns Rodman’s, a specialty grocery and pharmacy and Washington institution...