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Business

Boarded-Up Windows and Increased Security: Retailers Brace for the Election

Nordstrom, the high-end department store chain, said it planned to board up some of its 350 stores and hire extra security for Election Day on Tuesday. Tiffany & Company, the luxury jeweler, said “windows of select stores in key cities will be boarded in anticipation of potential election-related activity.” Saks Fifth Avenue said it was “implementing additional security measures at certain locations in the event of civil unrest due to the current election.”In Beverly Hills, the police said they would take a “proactive approach” and close Rodeo Drive, a renowned strip of luxury retailers, on Tuesday and Wednesday, citing the likelihood of increased “protest activity.” The police, working with private security companies, said they would also be on “full alert” throughout Beverly Hills...

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Business

Online sales fuel retailers across the country.

Many analysts had predicted that surging infections in states like Arizona, California and Texas that forced restaurants and stores to close again after reopening once already would significantly dent retail sales in July.There were some regional dips, but national sales continued to rise. Some economists said that pointed to the substantial shift the country had made to online shopping during the pandemic.“This year is a complete game changer in terms of e-commerce,” said Mickey Chadha, senior credit officer at Moody’s Investors Service.But selling goods online is by no means a panacea. For one thing, it can be far more expensive to retailers because of shipping costs. Even as online buying increases during the pandemic, many retailers are seeing profits drop.“Profitability is not comi...

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Business

There’s nothing normal about back-to-school sales this year.

Many retailers are grappling with an unusual back-to-school shopping season, which typically drives sales in July and August. This year is different, with many schools and colleges planning to start remotely.Bed Bath & Beyond recently introduced a “College at Home” section on its website, encouraging parents and students to buy new wares to transform their childhood bedrooms into what it called “dreamy dorm spaces” for remote learning, with youthful themes such as “chill camp vibes,” “low-key bohemian” and “modern glam.”The pitch is to make the rooms “more effective and more exciting to them even if they can’t be on campus,” said Joe Hartsig, chief merchandising officer at Bed Bath & Beyond. “It’s a real window of change for students to reflect that they’ve moved on from high sc...

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Business

Retail Sales Rise for Third Month, Though Growth Slows

Even as coronavirus infections continued to spread, in-person school reopening plans were scrapped and unemployment stayed near record highs, Americans kept shopping in July with retail sales rising 1.2 percent from June, reflecting a rare bright spot in the battered economy.The jump in sales reported on Friday by the Commerce Department, though far smaller than the increases in the previous two months, showed that the bounce back in spending to pre-pandemic levels was not a fluke. It was instead a sign that consumerism, buoyed by government support, remained resilient even as many other facets of American life were increasingly bleak.“It shows there is a willingness and a desire to spend,” said Michelle Meyer, chief U.S. economist at Bank of America. “There is no doubt the recovery in ...

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