retail

Updated at 9:57 a.m. ET

Shoppers bought more clothes and cars, and even returned to beleaguered department stores in September.

Getting her daughter ready for the first day of sixth grade, in a normal year, Lidia Rodriguez would have by now spent a pretty penny on a lunchbox, her charter-school uniform and a special backpack, perhaps embroidered with her name: "Sofia."

But why buy a new uniform if last year's top still works for a Zoom call? And why splurge on a new backpack when the walk to school is a shuffle from the kitchen table to the bedroom desk?

The parent company of Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Bryant and other clothing brands is joining the parade of apparel retailers to file for bankruptcy during the coronavirus crisis.

The firm Ascena Retail Group — whose stores are a major tenant of malls and shopping centers — did not specify how many locations it will close.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Walmart says shoppers must wear masks inside its stores starting Monday — the largest retailer to join a growing list of companies making face covering mandatory across the nation.

Updated at 10:21 a.m. ET

Another 1.5 million people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, a decline of 58,000.

But the number who are continuing to seek the payments is continuing to fall as workers return to their jobs. The Labor Department said continued claims dipped by 62,000 to 20.5 million.

In the past 13 weeks, since the early days of the coronavirus crisis, new claims have totaled a staggering 45.7 million. New weekly filings peaked at nearly 6.9 million in March and have been dropping ever since.

Future Of Retail After Coronavirus Pandemic

Jun 18, 2020
Empty Easton Town Center is virtually abandoned with all stores closed  due to the COVID-19 pandemic
David Holm / WOSU

This episode originally aired on June 6, 2020.

U.S. retail sales fell a record 16.4 percent in April, nearly double the previous record drop of 8.3 percent set in March.

Department stores and other retailers that were closed from mid-March to May to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are feeling the most pain.

Updated: 11:28 a.m., Thursday, June 18, 2020

Cleveland is temporarily freezing the spread of dollar stores in city neighborhoods.

City council on Wednesday afternoon approved a moratorium on new zoning permits or occupancy licenses for small-box retail. The pause will last until Nov. 1, while the city drafts new regulations for such businesses.

Target is raising its starting wage to $15 an hour, making permanent a $2 salary bump the company gave its U.S. workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Future Of Retail After Coronavirus Pandemic

Jun 12, 2020
Empty Easton Town Center is virtually abandoned with all stores closed  due to the COVID-19 pandemic
David Holm / WOSU

This episode originally aired on June 6, 2020.

U.S. retail sales fell a record 16.4 percent in April, nearly double the previous record drop of 8.3 percent set in March.

Department stores and other retailers that were closed from mid-March to May to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are feeling the most pain.

Future Of Retail After Coronavirus Pandemic

Jun 9, 2020
Empty Easton Town Center is virtually abandoned with all stores closed  due to the COVID-19 pandemic
David Holm / WOSU

U.S. retail sales fell a record 16.4 percent in April, nearly double the previous record drop of 8.3 percent set in March.

Department stores and other retailers that were closed from mid-March to May to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are feeling the most pain.

Retailers across the apparel world are turning to the newest essential garment to further their brand recognition and boost sales: the nonmedical face mask.

Nordstrom announced Tuesday it would begin selling face masks for $4 each in packs of six. The move comes just weeks after the Seattle-based retailer announced it would permanently shutter 16 stores after the coronavirus pandemic forced all of its locations to close.

Macy's losses during the coronavirus pandemic might mount to $1.1 billion in its first quarter. The company's warning Thursday is the latest highlight of a widening gap in retail between big sales of "essential" stores that remained open during the health crisis versus clothing and other "nonessential stores" that had to close.

The preliminary earnings report from Macy's echoed the pain felt at many other department stores and retail chains revealed in the first wave of financial disclosures since the pandemic began.

Updated at 9:31 a.m. ET

In a historic collapse, retail spending in the United States nosedived again last month, dropping a record 16.4% as people avoided restaurants, bars, stores and malls during the coronavirus pandemic.

Easton Town Center reopened on May 12, although some stores are still closed.
David Holm / WOSU

Tuesday's reopening of retail businesses was a mixed shopping bag.

Easton Town Center in Columbus has sat mostly empty since Ohio's stay-at-home order went into effect.
David Holm / WOSU

After two months of being shut down as non-essential, Ohio’s retail businesses are being allowed to open Tuesday. By the end of the week, many restaurants, bars and hair salons could also reopen.

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