Sales on the rise for local retailers in the midst of COVID-19

Sales in Birmingham, and throughout the country, have been stellar in May and June. Photo via Outlet Shops of Grand River on Facebook

It’s no secret that consumer spending throughout the country has been down, on account of COVID-19. However, some retailers are reporting record sales numbers in May and June. We reached out to several local retailers to learn more.

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Sales on the Rise

Retail did really… REALLY well in May. Graph via Yahoo! Finance.

According to Yahoo! Finance, retail sales nationwide jumped 17.7% in May—wow! In normal circumstances, that jump would be significant in and of itself. However, the sales increases is doubly significant, as it follows a sharp 16.4% plunge in April.

So what happened? Well, there are numerous factors. In March and April, retailers and consumers were both getting used to our “new normal”, and many retailers had not even opened their doors yet. In May and June, customers were able to visit shops for the first time in months—abiding by social distancing requirements—and release some of their pent-up sales demand!

Here’s how the past couple of months have turned out for a few Birmingham retailers.

Drivers Way

Birmingham, Driver's Way
Shop Driver’s Way at either location and online! Photo by Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

When I first called the Birmingham branch of Driver’s Way, I was quickly told to reach out to the Pelham location—their team was so busy with sales, they literally didn’t have the time!

Since the Pelham team had a bit of time to answer my questions, they confirmed my suspicions—sales have been very healthy for Driver’s Way in May. In fact, the spokesperson claimed this was the best business he’d seen in seven years!

Although the team didn’t have the numbers, they could tell the car market is recovering nicely from April’s plunge. Now, the battle is acquiring inventory and maintaining stock.

Mayer Electric

Contact: Website | Facebook

Mayer Electric is a Birmingham-based, family- and women-owned business with 79 locations across 14 states. The company is a wholesale distributor of electrical products, equipment and services—serving contractors, commercial businesses, residential customers and more.

Although Mayer has lost some of their bigger jobs, sales are on the uptick in May. Although a majority of their employees have been working from home, the Birmingham location recently began letting customers back in while abiding by social-distancing requirements.

Outlet Shops of Grand River

A family at The Outlet Shops of Grand River (photo taken in 2019). Photo via Outlet Shops of Grand River on Facebook

Contact: Website | Facebook

The Outlet Shops of Grand River, the large shopping mall in Leeds, saw the majority of its stores reopen (with reduced hours and extra precautions) in May and June. Although the spokesperson did not have the May or June numbers from each store yet, she knew that sales had been very pleasing lately—even slightly ahead of their projections.

Closets by Design

A Closets by Design Designer in a custom-designed multipurpose room. Photo via Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Contact: Website | Facebook

Closets by Design—the team that works together with their clients to design, manufacture and install the organizational spaces of their dreams—has seen a very promising trend in sales lately. In fact, while sales are up year-over-year, the exciting news is that June is on track to be a record-breaking month!

Although we’re not back to normal yet, we’re excited to see local retailers in good shape the past couple of months. Share your thoughts by tagging @bhamnow on social media!

  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.