Published in Economic Development

Prior to coronavirus closures, Michigan retailers expected strong spring

BY MIBIZ STAFF Friday, March 27, 2020 05:05am

Retailers in Michigan had at one time expected higher sales through the spring, although the public health crisis that led to the state’s stay-home order this week now has them in uncharted territory.

Nearly half of the retailers surveyed just prior to the crisis hitting Michigan said they recorded  higher sales in February, according to a monthly report from the Michigan Retailers Association.

William Hallan, president and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association COURTESY PHOTO

Results of the survey, conducted prior to the crisis hitting Michigan, resulted in a higher activity index for February, although they were “far rosier than the reality since the coronavirus has closed businesses and sent unemployment claims soaring,” according to the MRA said. 

Sixty percent of responding retailers said at the time that they expected higher sales through May.

“We’re glad that retailers had a strong January and February before this pandemic spread to Michigan,” said William Hallan, president and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association.

“Many of those same businesses are now closed temporarily, and really struggling. But retailers are resilient, and many will come back stronger,” Hallan said. “We won’t know for a while how the pandemic will affect retailers and the entire economy.”

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