3 Very Different Retailers And What They Say About The U.S. Consumer

Never fear, the American shopper appears to be everywhere. Going into retail earnings this week, many on Wall Street expected to see the baton passed from big-box stay-at-home plays to specialty apparel and department stores. Instead, early figures from Walmart, Home Depot, and Macy’s show that shoppers are just as likely to be finishing home improvement projects as they are to be buying luggage for their first post-pandemic trip. Retailers’ first-quarter results were helped by continued economic stimulus—retail sales were up 51.2%. in April year over year—amid an economy that is rapidly recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. Over the last few months, the rollout of vaccines and the easing of capacity rules and mask restrictions have finally given people reason to venture out of their homes. And to do that, they need stuff—especially if they find their pre-pandemic apparel fits a little snugger than it did before. Read more at Barron’s.