Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Walmart and similar big-box stores win the pandemic with one-stop shopping; some small, rural retailers in trouble

Walmart and other big-box stores like Target and Home Depot have reported strong third-quarter earnings, The Economist reports.

Simeon Gutman of Morgan Stanley told the magazine (which calls itself a newspaper but is fully digital) that such companies get a huge edge from e-commerce, and can draw from "diverse, global supply chains," to keep products in stock and allow shoppers the convenience of one-stop shopping. That's especially appealing during a pandemic when people are trying to avoid unnecessary trips. 

Growth in retail sales overall is slowing, Mitchell Hartman reports for Marketplace. Retail sales grew less than a third of 1 percent in October, reflecting a gain much weaker than expected and much weaker than September's figures, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau

Many small retailers in rural areas, who had a harder time accessing federal aid, are having an especially difficult time. Several rural retailers in Garrison, N.D., especially restaurateurs, said it's hard to stay in business when the state orders limit indoor seating, P.J. Walker reports for KX News in Bismarck.

A Garrison florist said her store was doing better than expected, Walker reports, because more people are sending flowers to funerals for covid-19 victims and isolated loved ones in nursing homes.

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