One side effect of America's coronavirus transformation: Learning and working from home bailed out some parts of retail despite the brutal recession, reports Axios' Jennifer Kingson.
- July was the third straight month that retail sales have risen, and as a month it was better than February, the last full period before the pandemic hit home.
The big picture: Marketers are keen to convince parents to turn college-bound teens' bedrooms into dorm rooms, kitchens into faux cafeterias, and backyards into recess playgrounds — by buying new stuff from retailers eager to keep the fall shopping season from being a bust.
Between the lines: While some retailers are still highlighting their backpacks and lunch boxes, forward-thinking competitors are hawking stylish masks, homeschooling supplies, and products to help turn your home into a school — clever taglines included.
- Target: "Find everything you need for wherever you college."
- Bed Bath & Beyond has published a guide on "How to design your own 'dorm room' at home." (Suggestions include "create a cohesive look," "express yourself" and check out these desk chairs, lamps and comforters for sale!)
- Per the NYT: "Kohl’s back-to-school offerings are listed online with the tagline, 'Heading back or logging in, the new year starts here.'"
The bottom line: August retail sales are likely to drop, despite the best efforts of retailers' marketing departments.
- Enhanced unemployment benefits of $600 a week ended July 31, leaving many Americans with less disposable income. And the extra $300 a week that President Trump aims to deliver will likely take some time to arrive.