Columbus Dispatch: Retail customers slowly return, but not all merchants benefit

UC economics professor Michael Jones predicts coronavirus worries will keep retail sales slow

The Columbus Dispatch turned to a prominent University of Cincinnati economist for insight into how the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic will affect retail sales. 

Michael Jones, associate professor of economics with the UC Carl H. Lindner College of Business and executive director of the Kautz-Uible Economics Institute, told the Dispatch that cautious customer behaviours will cause sales to continue to slump, driven by fear of the ongoing pandemic.

portrait of Michael Jones

Michael Jones

Citing data released by Mastercard, Jones told the Dispatch that retail sales were down 15% in April and 5% in May. Restrictions on businesses imposed by the state of Ohio in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus have since been relaxed, but that doesn't mean customers are letting their guards down.

“Customers are starting to combine their trips,” to reduce the time spent outside their home, Jones told Dispatch reporter Patrick Cooley. “That reduces the likelihood that consumers will make an impulse purchase.”

Read the full story.

Featured Image: Lindner Hall, home of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. Photo/Creative+Brand

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