On the heels of a historic drop in consumer spending in March, the US saw a correspondingly historic surge in retail sales in May, with sales increasing 17.7% month over month.
The surge comes, of course, with many states beginning reopening plans and with some expected business seeing upticks, including grocers. However, clothing stores like Macy’s have also seen large increases in sales. The improvement is encouraging, particularly with it happening almost in conjunction with the reopening. The timing suggests issues like consumers having money and confidence to spend could turn around quickly. Something that bodes well for a relatively quick economic recovery.
However, there are still many concerns. While there’s a worry of what a second wave of the virus could do, it’s also clear that in some areas the initial wave of the virus continues to do damage. There are also the open questions of whether the pandemic related government benefits will be extended beyond July, and, if not, what impact this will have on spending. With both issues, it’s not clear that the increase will be sustainable if the virus continues to have a large impact on major parts of the country and potentially results in revived closures of businesses.
For the time being, it seems clear that. while businesses should do all they can to safely be available for customers to shop where possible, maintaining the ability and flexibility to provide products during lockdown through online ordering should be something that remains at the forefront, because the need to deal with a pandemic-impacted economy remains likely for the foreseeable future.
With so much in flux, an experienced legal team can help navigate a difficult time for businesses, particularly with the ever-changing landscape for companies during the current crisis.