The Pandemic Might Have Saved Brick-and-Mortar as Restrictions Lift and Customers Go Back to Stores

Business Insider | May 22, 2021

Some of the country's biggest retailers, including Walmart, Macy's, Target, and Home Depot, said sales are strong and shoppers are returning to stores as pandemic restrictions ease and the country reopens. Some experts predict that after more than a year of staying at home because of the lockdowns, people will again embrace shopping in person.

Walmart reported over $138 billion in first quarter sales as people return to normal, pre-pandemic shopping behaviors, the big box chain said. Customers are shopping for different items than they were last year, purchasing more meat, produce, and bakery products, along with a rebound in beauty sales. Apparel, home, outdoor, and sporting good categories all grew as well, Walmart said.

Target saw similar growth, with a 22.9% increase in comparable sales over the same period last year. A slowdown in growth of digital sales seems to be a signs that shoppers are more willing to come into stores.

Home Depot sales growth continued at nearly 30% for the first quarter, as customers work on home additions concentrated in the lumber, bath, and kitchen areas.

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