Macy’s, Walmart, Target: The economy through retail’s lens


America’s most iconic retailers offered a nuanced look at how the spread of the Delta variant is affecting the economy.

Why it matters: COVID cases spiked in late July and have been trending higher ever since. It’s too early to draw conclusions about the current wave’s impact on the economy. But patterns are emerging from the fresh anecdotes coming from corporate America.

What they’re saying: Macy’s CEO Jeffrey Gennette addressed the differing behaviors of three types of shoppers, speaking on Macy’s Thursday earnings call.

  • Suburban residents have been comfortable shopping as usual, and stores in these areas have been “comping ahead of 2019 levels.”
  • Office workers, who shop at urban locations during lunch breaks or on their way home, haven’t changed much since before the current wave of infections, but could eventually be impacted as return to office plans “are always shifting.” This echoes the concerns flagged last week by the foodservice…

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