Shoppers Go Back to Stores, but Retailers Face Challenges

Shoppers Go Back to Stores, but Retailers Face ChallengesNEW YORK (AP) — Americans are going back to one of their favorite pastimes: store shopping.  With more people getting vaccinated and dropping their face masks, retailers from Walmart to Macy’s are seeing an eager return to their stores after more than a year of their customers migrating online during the pandemic.  Marcia Williams, who lives in a Philadelphia suburb and who stuck to online shopping only during the height of COVID-19, went back to her local mall right after she was fully vaccinated last month. That was her first time in more than a year  “I am definitely getting out,” said Williams, a hair and makeup artist who spent nearly ,000 on clothing for herself and her three children during several buying trips. “I do feel more comfortable. I like the experience of trying on clothes. I love grocery shopping. It’s my outlet.”  The return to store shopping, highlighted in many retailers’ earnings reports in recent days, offers a big relief in part because fewer shoppers ask for their money back after making a purchase at the store — 8% compared with 25% for online, according to Forrester Research. And store customers tend to do more impulse buying. For clothing, for instance, 25% of purchases are done on a whim versus 16% online, says market research firm NPD Group Inc.  “Retailers want you in the store,“ said Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry advisor. “They need you to be in the store so you generate more traffic. Crowds bring more crowds. (Shoppers) buy more product.”
Shoppers exit a shopping mall in Chicago downtown, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Americans are going back to one of their favorite pastimes: store shopping. With vaccinations rolling out and shoppers freer to go out maskless, retailers are seeing an eager return to their stores after months of watching their customers focus on online buying during the pandemic. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar)

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are going back to one of their favorite pastimes: store shopping.

With more people getting vaccinated and dropping their face masks, retailers from Walmart to Macy’s are seeing an eager return to their stores after more than a year of their customers migrating online during the pandemic.

Marcia Williams, who lives in a Philadelphia suburb and who stuck to online shopping only during the height of COVID-19, went back to her local mall right after she was fully vaccinated last month. That was her first time in more than a year

“I am definitely getting out,” said Williams, a hair and makeup artist who spent nearly $1,000 on clothing for herself and her three children during several buying trips. “I do feel more comfortable. I like the experience of trying on clothes. I love grocery shopping. It’s my outlet.”

The return to store shopping, highlighted in many retailers’ earnings reports in recent days, offers a big relief in part because fewer shoppers ask for their money back after making a purchase at the store — 8% compared with 25% for online, according to Forrester Research. And store customers tend to do more impulse buying. For clothing, for instance, 25% of purchases are done on a whim versus 16% online, says market research firm NPD Group Inc.

“Retailers want you in the store,“ said Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry advisor. “They need you to be in the store so you generate more traffic. Crowds bring more crowds. (Shoppers) buy more product.”

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Source: Associated Press

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