November retail sales fell 1.1% which was the second month in a row and the biggest drop in 7 months. This will turn out to be a difficult holiday shopping season for retailers. The holiday season represents about a quarter or more of a retailer’s annual sales, so it is an extremely important time of the year.
The culprit, of course, is the covid virus. We have shutdowns and an uptick of fear as the virus spread rapidly in recent weeks and months. The vaccine has not come soon enough to help the holiday shopping season.
Black Friday was a bust. Usually, it is the busiest shopping day of the year but people stayed home. Expect sales to fall again in December. The stimulus that looks to be coming before the end of the year will be too late for Christmas but will help stem the tide, bridging the gap between the rising cases of covid and the roll-out of the vaccines.