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Post-Lockdowns, Very Few People Are Venturing Into US Stores

In mid-May, foot traffic to shops was 92 percent below the same period a year ago, compared with a 95 percent falloff in the previous seven days.
US shoppers | Source: Shutterstock
By
  • Bloomberg

NEW YORK, United States — Shoppers are slowly trickling back to stores as they reopen after a two-month shutdown to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Visits to US and Canadian retailers have risen for two straight weeks. For the week ended May 15, foot traffic to shops was 92 percent below the same period a year ago, compared with a 95 percent falloff in the previous seven days, according to location-data provider Prodco Analytics.

Retail traffic began falling shortly after the first US virus case was confirmed in January. Most stores then followed government guidelines to shut locations. Now that many places have lifted restrictions, stores are beginning to welcome shoppers again.

There are early indications that foot-traffic numbers continue to improve. Kohl’s Corp., which began reopening stores in early May, said Tuesday that activity at those locations at first was 50 percent to 60 percent of what it normally would have been. But the chain said there’s been “progressive improvement” at stores that have been open for two weeks.

Several retailers have said they would begin a phased reopening process in the past week, including Nike Inc., Coach and Kate Spade parent Tapestry Inc., and PVH Corp., which owns several fashion labels including Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.

By Kim Bhasin.

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The State of Fashion: Technology