3 Surprising Findings From September 2020 Retail Trade Report

October 16th the US Census Bureau put out their Advance Monthly Retail Trade Report of September 2020 data. (lookout for the October data next week)

The report is the earliest indicator from the Census Bureau on how things are going.

Yes, the sample size is smaller than the more detailed report that comes out a month later (5500 companies versus 13k) but still includes valuable insights nonetheless. 

I’d encourage you to sort through their data portal to find insights most relevant to your business but here are three things I found interesting.

1. The cities that had 3-5% of respondents report moderate positive effects from Covid we’re major metropolitan cities. 

The Y-axis here represents the percentage of respondents that expect their recovery to take more than 6 months and the X-axis is the percentage of respondents that saw a moderately positive impact.
In the top left quadrant, you have cities like New York, San Francisco, LA, Minneapolis. In the bottom right you have cities like Atlanta, Seattle, and San Diego. 

2. Fewer companies took advantage of the PPP than I would have expected. 

For context, red states represent over 80% of respondents claiming they received financial assistance, as opposed to blue states where on average less than 60% report having received financial assistance.

3. The Industries that made the biggest shift to online.

Not surprisingly, the industries that report the biggest increase in the use of online platforms are 1. Educational Institutions and 2. Food and Beverage companies (represented in this graph by NAICS codes 61, and 72 respectively.)

For further context and insights check out the RetailGeek podcast from earlier this month where the hosts discuss this data with two individuals from the US Census Bureau itself.