The rise of ecommerce, the death of the mall, increased focus on fitness and family gatherings, as well as a better way of working have all been “upcoming” trends that have been discussed for several years. The pandemic has reduced a decade’s worth of possibilities to what was considered in March as a possibility to an immediate here-and-now. People are now spending again after the initial shock from the pandemic. Only the outlets are changing. The fourth quarter of this year will be enormous, and so will next year. It will be the year of retail predictability. As consumers have narrowed down their needs and wants, companies are improving their supply chains to ensure they can deliver quickly.
Every retailer wants to know how much customers will spend. Many experts predict that holiday shopping intent will drop due to economic uncertainty and job cuts. In an effort to preserve traditions, however, many consumers are planning to spend less on holiday shopping this year. This combined with less holiday travel may result in shoppers having more money to spend on gifts.
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Americans will likely spend more on items such as at-home fitness equipment and beauty products than they do on clothing. They also want to be able to exchange useful and reasonable gifts in the face of a pandemic. Families will spend more on these high-ticket items than they do on their annual family vacation to make the most of 2020.
Safety is the number one priority when it comes to Black Friday shopping. Walmart was the first to announce it would take special precautions like staggered “savings events” to ensure shoppers are safe this holiday season. Target, Macy’s and Kohl’s have also expanded or increased curbside services, allowing customers to pick up groceries without ever leaving their car.
E-commerce will experience a huge surge in popularity, but many people will still prefer to shop in stores while keeping their distance and wearing masks. It’s a nostalgic experience to walk into a store and hear the holiday music, and see the holiday decorations. This cannot be duplicated online.
The holiday shopping season will not slow down at the end of any day or year. This may actually be the best holiday shopping season yet. Consumers want to be able to look forward to the holidays every year, regardless of whether they shop online or in-store. Consumers want to see Santa Claus again on those eight crazy nights!
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NRF: Holiday sales will grow between 3.6% and 5.2%
Yesterday, the National Retail Federation (NRF forecast that holiday sales will rise between 3.6 and 5.2 percent in November and December to between $755.3 billion – $766.7 billion. These numbers exclude gasoline stations, restaurants and automobile dealers. They also reflect a 4 percentage increase in holiday sales to $729.1billion last year, and an average increase of 3.5 per cent over the past five.
“We know that this holiday season is unique, and retailers have prepared by investing billions in their customers’ and employees’ health and safety,” Matthew Shay , NRF President and CEO, stated in a statement. “Consumers are excited about the holidays, and will spend money on gifts that lift the spirits and family after such a difficult year. We anticipate a strong holiday season.”
NRF predicts that online and non-store sales will rise between 20 percent-30 percent to $202.5 billion to $218.4 trillion, an increase of $168.7 million last year.
Total Retail’s View: What is driving the NRF’s fairly positive holiday forecast? Jack Kleinhenz, NRF Chief Economist, stated that households have strong balances supported by a strong market, rising home prices, and savings boosted earlier this year by government stimulus payments. Also, jobs and wages are growing, energy costs are low and people have less spending on entertainment and personal services because of the virus.
“After all they’ve gone through, we believe there’s going be a psychological factor they owe to themselves and to their families to have an exceptional holiday,” Kleinhenz stated in a statement. There are risks to the economy, but consumers will still spend as long as they remain positive and optimistic.
This forecast is based on NRF’s latest research which shows that 42 percent of consumers began their holiday shopping earlier this year than they did last year. NRF’s ” New Holiday Traditions campaign has encouraged consumers to shop safely and start shopping early in the face of the pandemic. Consumers are listening. Fivety-nine per cent of consumers said that they had started holiday shopping before November began.