New York Times: ‘Bleak Friday’ for Stores as Pandemic Pushes Holiday Shopping Online

New York Times: ‘Bleak Friday’ for Stores as Pandemic Pushes Holiday Shopping Online. “Analysts at Morgan Stanley estimated that retailers’ overall Black Friday sales fell 20 percent from last year, based on early reports of drops in store foot traffic and increases in online sales. Consumers spent $9 billion online on Friday, a 21.6 increase from last year and the second-biggest figure for online retailers ever, according to Adobe Analytics, which scans 80 percent of online transactions across the top 100 U.S. web retailers. The firm said online sales rose to $23.5 billion in the four-day Thanksgiving-to-Sunday period, up 23 percent from last year.”

CNN: Guitar Center is filing for bankruptcy

CNN: Guitar Center is filing for bankruptcy. “The 61-year-old company — the biggest musical instrument retailer in the United States — had tried to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic by offering virtual music lessons. But Guitar Center was forced to close many of its stores in March during nationwide lockdowns, and it struggled to get customers to buy instruments as the economy headed south.”

CNN: Retail sales grew less than expected in October, as economists worry about a ‘difficult winter’

CNN: Retail sales grew less than expected in October, as economists worry about a ‘difficult winter’. “US retail sales grew at a slower pace than economists had predicted last month — prompting worries about a ‘difficult winter’ with lower consumer spending before a recovery next year. Retail sales increased by 0.3% to $553.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis in October, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday. That’s below expectations of a 0.5% increase, and it’s down from a revised 1.6% in September.”

CNN: Small toy stores are worried they won’t stay in business after this year

CNN: Small toy stores are worried they won’t stay in business after this year. “While small toy stores like Pufferbellies are struggling to stay afloat in the pandemic, Amazon and big box chains’ sales have surged as shoppers head online and consolidate their visits to stores. Analysts predict a bumper holiday season for these companies. In contrast, the situation is particularly dire for independent toy retailers. Sales at toy, hobby and game stores dipped 26% between mid-March, when shutdowns first began, and late October compared with the same time last year, according to data from Womply, a company that provides software platforms for small businesses and tracks sales through credit and debit card transactions.”

The Guardian: Legendary Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company begs for help in pandemic

The Guardian: Legendary Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company begs for help in pandemic. “One of the world’s most iconic bookshops, Shakespeare and Company, has appealed to its customers for help as it is struggling, with sales that are down almost 80% since March. The celebrated Parisian bookstore told readers on Wednesday that it was facing ‘hard times’ as the Covid-19 pandemic keeps customers away.”

Yucatan Times: First Exclusive Coronavirus Supply Store Opens in NYC

Yucatan Times: First Exclusive Coronavirus Supply Store Opens in NYC. “A new business billing itself as the city’s first coronavirus safety supply store opened to customers in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, NY, last month. The CV-19 Essential store near Herald Square is selling safety products for homes and businesses, including face masks, cell phone sanitizers, plexiglass dividers, UV lights and air purifiers.”

Exclusive: Hypur Finds Coronavirus Is Changing How Consumers Pay for Pot (Cheddar)

Cheddar: Exclusive: Hypur Finds Coronavirus Is Changing How Consumers Pay for Pot. “While many consumers still prefer to pay for cannabis with cash, fears concerning health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic are driving many toward alternative payment methods, according to a new survey from digital payments provider Hypur.”

MoneyWise: The Stores and Restaurants Closing the Most Locations Across Canada in 2020

MoneyWise: The Stores and Restaurants Closing the Most Locations Across Canada in 2020. “Facing a drastic reduction in income, retailers and chain restaurants nationwide have been forced to file for bankruptcy or shut down many of their locations. Yet COVID-19 has only accelerated what some call the ‘retail apocalypse,’ as brick-and-mortar shops give way to e-retailers like Amazon. Here are the stores and restaurants permanently closing locations in 2020.”

WSOC: Mooresville-based Lowe’s giving hourly workers another $100M in bonuses

WSOC: Mooresville-based Lowe’s giving hourly workers another $100M in bonuses. “A news release from the Mooresville-based company said all full-time hourly workers will get $300, and part-time and seasonal employees will receive $150 on Oct. 16. The bonuses total $100 million and will affect hourly workers at Lowe’s stores, distribution centers and store support centers, the company said.”

CNN: These retailers announced hundreds of store closures in September

CNN: These retailers announced hundreds of store closures in September. “Some retailers are now closing more stores than originally planned, underscoring how badly businesses have have struggled during the pandemic. Here are some of the highest-profile retailers that announced store closures in September.”

CNN: These 63 Bed Bath & Beyond stores are set to close by the end of 2020

CNN: These 63 Bed Bath & Beyond stores are set to close by the end of 2020. “The news comes after the retailer announced in July that it would close roughly 200 stores, mainly Bed Bath & Beyond stores, over the next two years. The store chain also said last month that it would eliminate 2,800 jobs as it tries to streamline its operations and shore up its finances. The store chain, which also operates Buybuy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops and Harmon Face Values, had a total of 1,478 stores as of May 30. Some 955 of those are Bed Bath & Beyond stores.”

Christian Science Monitor: Once struggling, Britain’s corner shops give comfort to UK shoppers

Christian Science Monitor: Once struggling, Britain’s corner shops give comfort to UK shoppers. “For many years, there has been real concern that the heart and soul of Britain’s traditional towns and villages have been disappearing. Superstores expanded into almost every neighborhood, competing heavily on price and offering the convenience of everything under one roof. Now, the pandemic has shoppers abandoning the big supermarkets and out-of-town stores that had come to dominate the British retail landscape. And Dunorlan Park Stores is one of thousands of corner shops and independent stores that saw an overall 63% surge in trade at the peak of the lockdown in the United Kingdom, according to analyst firm Kantar. The question plaguing the big, billion-dollar grocers such as Tesco and Asda is whether this abrupt change might become permanent.”

NBC News: More than 100 executives warn Congress of ‘catastrophic’ consequences without relief for small business

NBC News: More than 100 executives warn Congress of ‘catastrophic’ consequences without relief for small business. “More than 100 current and former top executives at major U.S. companies are calling on Congress to pass long-term relief to ensure that small businesses survive the coronavirus pandemic.”

New York Times: Nordstrom Uses Influencers to Promote Safety and Draw Anxious Shoppers

New York Times: Nordstrom Uses Influencers to Promote Safety and Draw Anxious Shoppers. “Even before the coronavirus pandemic, retailers were struggling to get more people into stores. Now foot traffic to malls, including outdoor shopping centers, is down about 30 percent from last year, according to aggregated data from the location analysis company Cuebiq, which tracks about 15 million cellphone users nationwide daily. It was down as much as 57 percent earlier this year, as widespread shutdowns essentially ended in-person shopping in many areas of the country. By hiring influencers to highlight safety measures, retailers, especially those that sell apparel and other discretionary goods, are trying to restore a sense of normalcy to activities like in-store shopping that were utterly banal six months ago but now may seem dangerous to many customers.”