As the fears of the COVID-19 pandemic spread, closed stores and layoffs drag all but essential sales downward.
Retail and real estate have been among the hardest hit industries from COVID-19. Measures to contain the spread of the pandemic resulted in retailers and shopping centers temporarily closing their doors. House-bound consumers stockpiled essentials including food, medical and cleaning supplies and home-related goods, resulting in a clear bifurcation between essential and discretionary retailers.
Grocery and wholesale see visits spike mid-March as consumers prep
Retailers deemed essential saw an initial surge in store traffic as shoppers scrambled to buy nonperishable food and other necessities. While foot traffic levels flattened after mid-March, March sales gains were high for the grocery sector. Sales also spiked in March for discount, drug and wholesale retailers, also deemed essential. Conversely, dine-in restaurants and entertainment venues have been hard-hit, as have discretionary retailers like apparel and department stores forced to close their doors.
March retail sales fell 8.7% month-over-month but grocery saw outsized gains
To learn how other major retail sectors performed, download the full report.