End-of-Year Trends Point to More of the Same ... That's Great News for Retail
The death of the mall, the rise of e-commerce, the increased focus on fitness, family gatherings, a better way to work, and the creation of new traditions have been at the forefront of "upcoming" trends being bantered for the past couple of years. Conveniently enough, the pandemic has condensed a decade of possibility into what was thought of in early March as a probability to an immediate here and now. With the initial shock of the pandemic over, people are back to spending, and only the outlets are altering. This year's fourth quarter will be huge and next year along with it. It will also be the best year for retail predictability. Consumers have narrowed their focus of wants and needs as companies are shoring up their supply chains to deliver in an expedited manner.
What every retailer wants to know now is how much consumers will spend. With looming economic uncertainties and major job cuts across the country, many experts predict a decrease in holiday shopping intent. However, on the contrary, many consumers plan to spend the same amount or more on holiday shopping this year, in an attempt to keep traditions alive. This, coupled with less traveling over the holidays, may lead to shoppers having more funds to spend on gifts.
Industries and Avenues to Look Towards
After being shut indoors for months, Americans are likely to splurge on categories like at-home fitness equipment, comfortable clothing, beauty products, desk accessories, subscription services, and home decor, as they look to exchange reasonable and useful gifts during a pandemic. Many families will redirect their dollars from the "annual family trip" to these big-ticket items, making the most of the remainder of 2020.
When it comes to deciding whether to hit brick-and-mortar stores for traditional Black Friday shopping, safety is at the forefront of consumers' minds. Walmart came out early to announce that it would be taking special precautions such as staggered "saving events" to keep shoppers safe this holiday season, and more will certainly follow suit. Other retailers, including Best Buy, Macy's, Kohl's, Sam's Club, and Target, have added or expanded their curbside services allowing consumers to pick up groceries and other products without leaving the car.
While e-commerce will see a giant surge, many consumers will want to walk store aisles while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. There's something nostalgic about walking into a store and hearing the holiday music and seeing holiday décor ringing in the season; this just cannot be replicated online.
At the end of the day (or year), the holiday shopping season won't skip a beat. In fact, this may be one of the best holiday shopping seasons yet. Whether online or in-store, consumers want to keep their holiday traditions alive as something great to look forward to after a roller-coaster of a year. Consumers still want those eight crazy nights and, of course, Santa still must come down the chimney!
Brett Rose is the founder and CEO of United National Consumer Suppliers (UNCS), an international wholesale distribution company providing products for Macy's, TJX Companies, Ross Stores, Amazon third-party sellers, and many more.
Brett Rose is the founder and CEO of United National Consumer Suppliers (UNCS), awholesale distribution company that buys manufacturer closeouts and overstock inventories in bulk then sells it in smaller quantities to retailers like Macy's, Home Goods, BJ's Wholesale Club, and Amazon resellers. To date, UNCS has sold hundreds of millions of units annually. It sources 50 different product categories for over 98,000 retailers and e-tailers in 32 countries.