Retailers reopening more stores, tourism expanding

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FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo shoppers enter the TJ Maxx store in Manchester, N.H. TJX Companies Inc., parent of T.J. Maxx and other discount stores reports financial results on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

The outbreak of the coronavirus has dealt a shock to the global economy with unprecedented speed. Following are developments Thursday related to national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus.

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RETAIL ROUNDUP: Macy’s warns it could lose more than a $1 billion during its fiscal first quarter. The chain began to reopen stores earlier this month and expects most stores to be open in mid-June.

— TJX has reopened more than 1,600 of its stores worldwide to date. The discount retailer has fully or partially reopened in 25 states. TJX Canada began reopening stores in some provinces this week, and stores in Germany, Austria, Poland, the Netherlands and Australia are fully open. Stores in the U.K. and Ireland remain closed. TJX Cos. believes that it could be mostly reopened by the end of June, based on current government guidance.

— Best Buy managed to keep approximately 81% of last year’s sales during the last six weeks of the first quarter via its curbside service. The electronics and appliance retailer started opening some of its stores earlier this month. It currently has nearly 700 stores, or about 70%, that are open using a new consultation service where customers can come into the store by appointment only.

— Victoria’s Secret said Thursday it’s closing 250 stores in the next few months, about a quarter of all its stores. Its parent L Brands made that announcement as it reported a 37% drop in sales and widening loss for the company, dragged down by the lingerie brand. The company also operates Bath & Body Works.

SUPPLY & DEMAND: Redfin says 41% of U.S. home bids faced competing offers in the four-week period ended May 10. Redfin says the virus contributed to limited inventory. The most competitive housing markets included Boston, San Francisco and Fort Worth, Texas.

Meanwhile, sales of existing homes plunged 17.8% in April. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that last month’s decline pushed sales down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.33 million units, the slowest pace since September 2011. The sales drop was the largest one-month decline since a 22.5% fall in July 2010.