Dr. Anthony Fauci would probably warn against Americans spending money right now, because of contaminants and germs that could be spread on credit cards or when a cashier hands over a receipt.
In the world of the doom-and-gloomers it would be far better to continue to hibernate, wear a mask indoors, and order all food and goods online while waiting for the the next dire warning from the 80-year old director of the National Foundation for Infectious Disease,
However, in the real world, Americans are trying to get on with their life, and many are making up for lost time when it comes to shopping. And don’t forget the $1,400 stimulus check money many are using for their self-prescribed retail therapy sessions.
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told reporters last week that Americans are armed with over $2 trillion more in their checking accounts than before the pandemic.
Airports are getting busy again as Americans feel safe flying, mall parking lots are filled and restaurants and bars are bustling. There are even sports fans in attendance in the NBA and MLB.
The numbers released by the Commerce Department prove what most people can see. Retail sales were up almost 10% in March.
Sporting goods stores have seen some of the biggest gains in spending, almost 24%, which makes sense with youth sports leagues picking up, and Americans being able to exercise in gyms and outdoors again.
Clothing stores saw sales go up over 18%, with women’s skirts and dresses leading the way with huge gains in sales from previous years. Proms will be happening again this spring, weddings are back on calendars, and fashion conscious women want to get dressed up after many spent the past 12 months in sweats and casual clothes.
Champagne sales have gone up over 100% according to a report on CNBC. Celebrations are en vogue again, with Veuve Clicquot and Moet & Candon are registering much bigger sales numbers.
Sales of shoes were down in the U.S. by 17% year-to-year for the 12 months ending in February, but retailers of athletic shoes, high-end designer shoes and most categories in between already seeing numbers higher than a normal year.
Swimsuit sales are up so much the numbers seem made up. The online swim and apparel line Summersalt is up 850% from last April, but in 2020 at this time nobody was buying swimsuits or planning beach vacations. The beaches in Southern California were even closed to locals.