US brands like Macy’s, JCPenney, and Dillard’s saw an increase in foot traffic during May and June. But shopper visits have decreased in July due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
As Forbes points out in a recent article, this sudden dropoff in footfall is specific to the three aforementioned department stores. But it’s likely that all brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling this change.
The reason for the early summer recovery was the relaxing of social distancing and lockdown restrictions in many US states. Yet, as cases began to increase again late June, some states had to take a few steps back, and once again enforce stricter policies.
More stringent social distancing guidelines means less foot traffic in-stores.
Placer.ai, a consulting service that monitors retail foot traffic, told Forbes, "The success of this [retail] sector – at least in the short term – will depend on the government’s ability to effectively control the impact of the pandemic. Should COVID's reign continue deeper into 2020 and beyond, the effect could be very difficult to overcome.”
Potentially, this is a reflection of changes in consumer shopping trends across the board – even online retail is seeing a decline in revenue, according to CCINSIGHT data.
Keep an eye on future fluctuations in retail revenue by checking-in at commerce insights.org.