April’s 16.4% drop in retail sales is worst on record

The percentage drop is nearly double that of March, which also set a record low for U.S. retailers

TRD NATIONAL /
May.May 15, 2020 06:30 PM
(Credit: Rob Kim/Getty Images, iStock)

(Credit: Rob Kim/Getty Images, iStock)

The numbers are in for last month’s retail sales and they aren’t pretty.

Despite an increase in online purchases, total sales fell 16.4 percent in April — the largest monthly drop ever recorded, the New York Times reported, citing the latest report from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The amount of money spent was the lowest it’d been since 2012, even without accounting for inflation.

April’s figures were nearly twice the 8.3 percent drop in March, which had also set a record for U.S. retailers.

As expected, brick-and-mortar businesses saw the most significant declines in activity. Restaurants and bars lost half their business, while furniture stores sales fell by 66 percent. Clothing stores fared the worst of all with an 89 percent drop in sales.

Many industry experts and business owners predicted that April would be the worst month of the coronavirus pandemic for businesses, as state governments across the country mandated that non-essential businesses stay closed.

Now, some parts of the country are starting to re-open, which could buoy sales in May. But a recovery isn’t expected to be quick. With layoffs across industries, it’s uncertain how much disposable income consumers will have — or if they will feel safe shopping in public.

Some businesses could limp along for years before succumbing to the wounds inflicted by the pandemic and government mitigation measures. UBS estimates that 100,000 stores will close over the next five years.

A third of business owners surveyed by the Census Bureau this week said they expected it would take more than six months to recover, and 6.6 percent said they didn’t expect a full recovery at all. [NYT] — Dennis Lynch


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Map of priciest condo sales and Icon South Beach (Credit: Google Maps and Gzzz via Wikipedia)

Miami condo sales volume nosedives in mid-May

Miami condo sales volume nosedives in mid-May
110 Atlantic Avenue, Scott Schuster (Credit: Google Maps)

Healthcare entrepreneur sells Palm Beach home for $8M

Healthcare entrepreneur sells Palm Beach home for $8M
Miami Beach Votes To Reopen Pools (Credit: iStock)

Miami Beach votes to reopen pools in resi buildings, but needs the county to sign off

Miami Beach votes to reopen pools in resi buildings, but needs the county to sign off
(Credit: iStock)

Home sales dropped big time in South Florida in April

Home sales dropped big time in South Florida in April
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber and City Manager Jimmy Morales (Credit: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images, and Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Miami-Dade targets June 1 opening date for hotels, beaches following Miami Beach vote

Miami-Dade targets June 1 opening date for hotels, beaches following Miami Beach vote
(Credit: iStock)

Luxury condo prices drop in downtown Miami amid lockdown

Luxury condo prices drop in downtown Miami amid lockdown
Anabella Smith, Louis Archambault, Scott Goldstein

“There’s a lot of concern about going back to an office”: how companies are returning to work in South Florida

“There’s a lot of concern about going back to an office”: how companies are returning to work in South Florida
Florida Keys

Florida Keys to reopen to visitors June 1

Florida Keys to reopen to visitors June 1
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...