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May 18, 2020

Retail sales fell a record 16% in April as virus hit

  • Roughly 100,000 stores could shutter over the next five years, according to one estimate.
  • By JOSH BOAK and ANNE D'INNOCENZIO
    AP Business Writers

    BALTIMORE — U.S. retail sales tumbled by a record 16.4% from March to April as business shutdowns caused by the coronavirus kept shoppers away, threatened the viability of stores across the country and further weighed down a sinking economy.

    The Commerce Department's report Friday on retail purchases showed a sector that has collapsed so fast that sales over the past 12 months are down a crippling 21.6%. The severity of the decline is unrivaled for retail figures that date back to 1992. The monthly decline in April nearly doubled the previous record drop of 8.3% — set just one month earlier.


     
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