Now that the coronavirus retail shutdowns are lifting, retailers across the country are breathing a sigh of relief. Hoping that the worst is over, retailers are encouraged that business will recover, maybe not in the third quarter, but that it will start to turn around by the fourth.
For some major retailers, things haven’t been all that bad, thanks to their online sales.
A back-of-the-envelope analysis by fellow Forbes.com contributor Chris Walton found that four major retailers were able to maintain a remarkably high level of sales during the shutdowns via e-commerce alone. Specifically, in late March through April, Best Buy held onto 70% of its sales, Nordstrom roughly 65%, Gap almost 60%, and Kohl’s at about 55%.
Consumer surveys provide signs to support retailers’ hope, like this one from Coresight Research conducted at the end of May. It found that about half of consumers expect their spending to return to pre-coronavirus normal within the next five-to-six months.
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And The Conference Board measured a small but meaningful 2.6 points uptick in May in the consumers’ Expectations Index. This is their short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions, which improved from 94.3 points in April to 96.9 points in May.