Heading Into the Holidays, How Will COVID-19 Change Seasonal Sales

By Kat


Usually, this time of year is filled with excitement and relief for different retail sellers that look to move into the black. As individuals take care of holiday gift shopping and spend their hard-earned holiday bonuses, store owners can take a deep breath knowing that their numbers will likely move up a little.

But this year, things may look a little different. COVID-19 has transformed how retailers operate at storefronts and online. Moreover, the lasting concerns for personal safety and thinly stretched household budgets threaten to keep consumers out of stores. 

So how might retailers fare in the upcoming months?. A recent study analyzed how different retailers fared during the first months since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Viewing this data might give a glimpse of what’s to come for different industries this holiday season. 

The study looked at the percentage change in sales for different retailers and industries between Spring 2019 and Spring 2020. The industries that saw the greatest increase in sales were the e-commerce and online retail industries as well as essential item sellers like grocery stores and alcohol sellers. Given that the coming months will be filled with more international e-commerce as well as tons of grocery shopping for holiday goods, some commercial chains already started preparing by gathering stock as early as this summer

On the other hand, the industries that fared the worst included retailers for clothing and accessories, furniture and home foods, and appliances, as well as the restaurant and auto industries. This statistic is definitely reflective of a scary moment for retailers right now. With the thought of Christmas-shopping crowds likely troubling any retailer that is concerned about shopper safety, it’s quite certain that these upcoming months will likely see the same or greater percentage drop-offs in seasonal sales. There have been some predictions about how this year will be different, with marketing around early shopping and online retail expected to be a major part of this season. 
Altogether, it looks like various retailers have a non-traditional holiday season ahead of them, but connecting with the retail industry or connecting goods to essential shopping may be key to save their sales. You can view the full report on this spring’s sales here.

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