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August saw drops in retail sales, shopper traffic in the U.S.

It appears that, lately, sales have been down at physical retails stores here in America. This is what the numbers from a recent RetailNext report point to.

The report looked at sales numbers and related statistics for brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. for August 2017.

The report found that, nationwide, sales at such stores were down 9.5 percent that month. It also found that shopper traffic was down at such stores, with August seeing a 7.7 percent drop in such traffic.

Now, the different regions of the U.S. varied in the size of the retail sales and traffic drops they saw in August. What did the region Wisconsin is in, the Midwest, see in this regard? The sales drop in the Midwest was a little smaller than the national average, coming in at 8.9 percent. However, the Midwest saw a much bigger drop in shopper traffic, with its drop coming in at 10.1 percent.

Why do you think sales and shopper traffic at physical retail stores were down so much in the Midwest and the rest of the U.S. in August? What do you think are the biggest challenges brick-and-mortar retailers here in Wisconsin are facing these days when it comes to attracting shopper traffic and sales?

Slumping sales and customer traffic can have many impacts for a retailer. For one, it could lead to a retailer experiencing financial strains. Sometimes, financial struggles lead to a small business making some major changes. This could include workforce changes, changes in its relationships with other business, changes in its overall strategy and changes in the size and scope of its operations.

Sometimes, over the course of making such changes, a business runs into disputes with other businesses it works with, customers, employees or other parties. Such disputes could have significant financial stakes, and thus could have the possibility of worsening the financial strain that led a company to making changes in the first place. So, when a retailer runs into disputes connected to actions it took in response to financial difficulties, it may want legal guidance on what strategies it could pursue to try to minimize the possible negative financial impacts of the dispute.

Source: Small Business Trends, “Retail Sales Chill as Summer Comes to an End,” Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead, Sept. 12, 2017

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