Retail

Retail Foot Traffic Dips As COVID Cases Rise

In the past two weeks, shopping levels have fallen again as coronavirus cases surge in the United States, CNBC reported.

Up until then, retail levels were improving somewhat since the all-time low in April while the country was on lockdown.

But customers have begun retreating from retail for the second time due to the increase in cases. The spikes in cases have been particularly noteworthy in Florida and Texas. For the week ending June 27, traffic was down 35.7 percent, according to ShopperTrak as reported by CNBC. The week prior, it was down 39.5 percent.

The decline comes alongside companies like Apple‘s decisions to re-close stores. Apple made the move to shutter dozens of stores in malls for the second time.

However, the effects aren’t being felt equally in all states, CNBC reported, with 13 states seeing their economies continue to perform well, primarily due to their embrace of safety precautions like wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. Eleven of those states have a requirement that people wear masks in public.

According to ShopperTrek data, the biggest growth in retail traffic has been seen in New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York, CNBC reported.

The other 37, plus Washington D.C., are seeing the economy slow down again, and CNBC reported that only eight of those states require masks as a rule rather than a recommendation. The biggest declines in shopping are happening in Mississippi, Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana and Alabama, according to the data.

The economic fallout of the coronavirus will be felt in the closures of physical stores — analysts say as many as 50 percent of U.S. shopping malls could shudder by the end of 2021, a demise already in motion from years of declining sales, but hastened by the coronavirus.

The future seems to be trending more toward digital, with direct-to-consumer (DTC) ventures from Pepsi and Constellation Brands aiming to get snacks and alcohol in the hands of customers in the new eCommerce landscape.

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