Photo by Sarah Marron ’24
Over the past year, we have anticipated a return to normalcy as we come off of the peak of COVID-19 cases. Since the widespread implementation of the vaccine, many retail businesses in Westport are seeing improving sales and expect the holiday season to be much better than last year.
According to Victor Moran, Whole Foods’ associate manager, sales dipped slightly during the initial lockdown. As the company followed Westport’s guidelines, sales now roughly mirror the sales of previous years. Especially due to the holidays approaching, Whole Foods is seeing the typical spike in sales again with customers coming into the store.
Despite the expected decline in sales during the initial lockdown, Cycle Dynamics, a bicycle retail store, differed from this trend. Throughout the initial lockdown, people around Westport acquired a new enjoyment for spending time outdoors, which allowed many companies that offered outside activities to continue having normal sales.
“Sales were certainly up, it seemed like everybody wanted a bike,” Matt Legen, Cycle Dynamics staff member, said. “Most of the bike industry completely sold out of bikes to actually sell.”
In addition to biking, other sports retail stores found themselves in the same situation. True Tension Tennis, a racket sports retail store, experienced a similar situation during initial months of lockdown.
“Everything was shut down so it was a little bit scary at first,” Mike Helmuth, co-owner of the store, said. “We limited our hours, and we sent a lot of product that we ordered back because we didn’t know what was going to happen.
However, as soon as stores were allowed to open, business resumed for the store as normal.
“Once we were allowed to open we were lucky because tennis and racket sports are very covid-safe activities, and so we made up all of our business in nine months,” Helmuth said.
Retail stores are recovering from the effects of covid as residents are becoming vaccinated. Recently, however, the outlook has clouded because of supply chain disruptions and increasing inflation.
“Despite the one-two punch of inflation and supply chain woes, it seems like consumers are determined to forge ahead,” an article by Vox said. “Some people are spending a little earlier, but they still appear to be spending. As the job market improves and more people get back to work, they’ve got more money to put out there.”