Retail

Retail Sales Fell Only 5.6 Pct In May As Consumer Spending Improves

Retail Sales Fell Only 5.6 Pct In May

Consumer spending in the United States gradually increased last month as shoppers arose from lockdown. Mastercard figures indicated that retail sales in the U.S., outside of the auto industry, fell only 5.6 percent in May from a year prior compared to a 14.1 percent drop in April, the Financial Times reported.

Hardware sales in the U.S. – both in brick-and-mortar and digital – jumped 36 percent year on year last month, while furniture sales notched a 7.5 percent increase. And online shopping comprised 22 percent of retail sales in April and May, which was two times that of the year before.

Sales at apparel chains, department stores and other physical retailers, however, were said to have plummeted due to an increase in joblessness, the economic decline and the forced shuttering of brick-and-mortar locations.

Management at Kohl’s, Nordstrom and Macy’s said to investors that sales at reopened retail locations are slowly on the uptick.

Macy’s Chief Executive Jeff Gennette said at the same event that the firm had anticipated sales at reopened stores to fall a minimum of 80 percent from 2019, but they had declined only approximately 50 percent. "Each week that they’re open, they’re getting a little bit better," he noted.

In its preliminary Q1 2020 financial results, Macy’s Inc. reported that stores that had opened again were “performing better than anticipated.” The retailer said that approximately 450 retail locations had opened again by June 1 – many in their full format – and that curbside pickup had been “performing well.”

Gennette also noted in an announcement, “Our strong digital business sales trend continued throughout May, and it is encouraging to see that as we reopen a store, the digital business in that geography continues to be strong.”

Macy’s registered $3.02 billion in Q1 2020 preliminary net sales in comparison to $5.50 billion in Q1 2019.

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