Still, despite the occasional coronavirus hotspots and examples such as Sweden, where the refusal to impose a lockdown has been linked to continuing problems with Covid-19, the overall trend around Europe has been positive with regard to controlling the outbreak.

That has put it in contrast with the US, where cases of Covid-19 are still surging and hopes of a quick economic recovery are fizzling. The US recorded its own retail sales bump in May, though it’s far from certain whether the trend will continue with Covid-19 cases spiking in multiple southern states and California reversing course on its reopening.

One thing Europe, the US, and other countries share in common is that how their retail recoveries proceed will depend largely on how well they keep Covid-19 under control. Analysts believe measures such as mask mandates can even have measurable economic impacts. It’s little wonder, then, that some big retailers in the US are pushing customers to wear masks in their stores.

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