Holiday shopping in a pandemic: What retailers are expecting

Local News
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSYR-TV) — Retailers are hoping to end a challenging 2020 with a successful holiday shopping season.

The National Retail Federation says it expects consumers to spend a total of $997.79 on gifts, holiday decorations, and food during the 2020 Christmas shopping season.

The NRF says consumers will likely spend about $50 less overall this holiday season compared to 2019. Most of that, the organization reports is a decrease in what families will spend on non-gift purchases for themselves and their families. Spending on gifts for others will be about nine dollars lower than last year according to a survey of 7,660 consumers between October 1 and 9.

“Consumers have demonstrated their resilience and adaptability throughout these extraordinary times,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Looking ahead to the holiday season, retailers will ensure that their stores are safe for both customers and employees as we all prepare to celebrate family and friends during this special time of the year.” 

The retail organization says it is no surprise that since online shopping skyrocketed during the pandemic, that trend will continue through the holiday season with 60% reporting they will purchase holiday items via the internet this holiday season.

Ninety-one percent of online shoppers will take advantage of free shipping when it is available. Forty-four percent expect to order online and pick up at a local store, and some 16% will take advantage of same-day delivery when available.

The same survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, also found that 19% of holiday shoppers who typically travel for the holiday say they plan to stay home this year. About 53% of those who are staying home say they will likely spend more on holiday items since they are not traveling.


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