AL Retail Association emphasizes need to shop local during pandemic

Alabama retailers staying optimistic

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Retailers in Alabama are staying optimistic, even as we continue to see COVID-19 cases increase.

When you look at this May and compare it to May 2019, obviously sales aren't as high.

But at least the Alabama Retail Association says it's seeing an increase from April and March.

The U.S. Census Bureau released advanced estimates of retail and food sales across the country during the month of May. It showed a 17.7% increase from the month before, but 6.1% decrease from May 2019.

And here in Alabama, while we don’t have the numbers in for May yet, the Retail Association said retailers that have a presence here in Alabama were down 12%.

But remote retailers, or retailers who don’t have a presence in our state who mostly do online sales, are up 84%.

"It really shows us that while people were not going out and shopping locally, they were buying a lot online," said Nancy Dennis with the Alabama Retail Association. "And they were buying a lot online not from retailers here in the state of Alabama. They were buying online from retailers that are outside of the state of Alabama."

Dennis said, even if you don't feel safe shopping in-person, try to shop online with local stores.

That way, one year or two years from now, your favorite local retailers will still be in business.

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