Amid pandemic, big US retailers cash in as small business suffers

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Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

By: Rappler

While retail giants in the United States see surging sales, brick-and-mortar retailers that anchor shopping malls face declines

Walmart earnings are surging, Amazon is expanding into pharmacies, and Wall Street indices are hitting record highs, but data released on Tuesday, November 17, shows traditional retailers struggling to keep up as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts the United States economy.

Nationwide retail sales grew by only 0.3% last month, the Commerce Department reported, much slower than in September and before the nationwide surge in coronavirus cases seen in recent weeks that has some states reimposing business restrictions.

It also augurs poorly for the overall economy, which seems bound to endure months of widespread COVID-19 infections without renewed aid from Congress, since lawmakers have not managed to bridge the months-long impasse over how much more to spend to help the country recover from the pandemic’s damage.

Yet even amid the retail sales slowdown, some businesses are still making money in the world’s largest economy.

Walmart’s profits came in well above forecasts with a surge to $5.1 billion – 56.2% more than the year-ago period – based largely on the strength of its online sales.

 

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