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SHOPPING SPREE

The pandemic’s impact on US discount and mega-retailers, in five charts

John Detrixhe
Marc Bain
Member exclusive by John Detrixhe & Marc Bain

The coronavirus pandemic has ripped a hole in America’s retailers, but the country’s budget chains and mega-stores have fared much better.

Chains such as Walmart and Dollar Tree have been able to keep their doors open because they sell essential items, and they’ve found that even though more than 40 million people have sought unemployment insurance since the pandemic started, many shoppers are still surprisingly flush with cash.

Americans were issued $1,200 stimulus checks as part of the Cares Act, and unemployment insurance has been topped up with an additional $600-per-week supplement that lasts through the end of July. Some unemployed workers, for now, are earning more to stay home than they would get from a job.

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