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Pandemic Pits E-Commerce Giant Amazon Against Big Box Stores, Mall Outlets

For retailers, Q1 earnings might resemble a Charles Dickens novel  as a tale of two sectors: Essential and nonessential—or perhaps brick-and-mortar and e-commerce.

Companies with the goods consumers needed as they hunkered down at home are widely expected to have rung up relatively healthy sales numbers, analysts said. Those that sold discretionary items probably struggled.

And it could be better yet for those essential retailers with strong e-commerce platforms to peddle food, aseptic solutions and even lumber (home repair projects seem popular now as people can’t really go anywhere). Non-store retail sales in March, at the onset of the shutdown throughout the U.S. slipped 3.1%, according to the Commerce Department. That sounds disappointing, but not when you look at overall retail sales that month falling 8.7%, making March the worst month ever for retail sales in data going back to 1992.

As many stockpiled food and filled medicine cabinets and

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Time to fix that leaky faucet? Home improvement stores busy in coronavirus lockdowns

Some people stuck at home amid coronavirus lockdowns are using the time to whittle down their fix-it lists and home improvement projects, retailers say.

“We’re definitely seeing the folks stuck at home saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to do that project which I’ve been wanting to do,’ ” said Barbara Werkheiser, co-owner of Nazareth Hometown Hardware in Pennsylvania, Lehigh Valley Live reports. “I think people are trying to be constructive.”

For others, however, it’s less a matter a choice rather than necessity.

In Portland, Oregon, Kat Bradfield said she’s trying to obey a state stay-at-home order but needed a new ethernet cable to work from home, bringing her to The Home Depot, The Oregonian reported.

More than 487,000 cases of the COVID-19 virus have been confirmed worldwide with more than 22,000 deaths as of March 26, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States has more than 69,000 confirmed cases and

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