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Countdown to Christmas: Pandemic Shopping Predictions
When you think of holiday shopping, big retail days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday likely jump to mind. But the normal holiday shopping calendar may get blown out of the water this year with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting nearly every aspect of American life.
Ray Wimer is an assistant professor of retail practice at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management.
He says: “Prepare for a longer holiday shopping season than ever before in the unique year of 2020. Trying to predict how the holiday retail season will play out has a much higher level of difficulty.”
For use in your stories, here are some additional comments from Professor Wimer based on recent retail reports:
- Retailers will start encouraging holiday shopping earlier, mid-October rather than right after Halloween. This is to ease the burden of increased online shopping and the expected crunch on shipping of goods to consumers. October 10th may be the likely date as there is some discussion of making 10/10/2020 a shopping event with numerous retailers signing on – this would mirror Singles Day 11/11 in China that has been widely popular and the biggest shopping day of the year for the last few years.
- There is speculation that Amazon will hold their delayed Prime Day on October 5th to kick of their holiday shopping season.
- Amazon has already scheduled holiday sales to start the week of October 26th.
- Doorbusters at brick-and-mortar stores will be more played down than in past years to avoid crowding and keep social distancing in place.
- We are likely to see a steadier volume of holiday shopping. Normally we see a lull in shopping after Black Friday-Cyber Monday for two weeks.
- Consumers should plan on ordering earlier for online purchases to ensure delivery takes place before the holiday.
- With work-from-home and school-from-home continuing this fall, likely key items for holiday shopping will be:
- Home furnishings and décor
- Kitchen products
- Comfy clothes like sweats, athleisure apparel and loungewear
- Home office equipment
- Puzzles and games
- Items that may not be as popular this holiday season:
- Party dresses
- Tailored clothes
- Travel-related items
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