Retailers and Customers Prepare for Holidays, 2020


How are consumers and retailers preparing for holiday gift-giving during a global pandemic? According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumers have demonstrated their resilience and adaptability throughout these extraordinary times, says NRF 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. Purchasing gifts for friends and loved ones is a way for consumers to shift focus from the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic to celebrating the holidays and the promise of our return to a better tomorrow.”


$997.79 | Average amount of spending families will pay on gifts, holiday items such as decorations and food, and additional “non-gift” purchases for themselves and their families, according to an annual survey released recently conducted by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.


-$8 | Consumer spending on gifts is on par with last year, decreasing by only about $8. And holiday items like decorations are actually up slightly.


42% | Percentage of shoppers who say they plan to start their holiday shopping by the end of October.

41% | Percentage of shoppers who say they plan to start their holiday shopping by the end of November.

19% | Holiday shopper who say they typically travel for the holidays but will stay home instead this year.

53% | Of those who changed their holiday travel plans, the percentage who say they are likely to spend more on holiday items this year.


With holiday inventory and promotions starting even earlier than usual, consumers remain flexible with their holiday shopping plans. The vast majority admit they could be convinced to start shopping earlier than they typically do through incentives like holiday deals or to avoid crowds or the stress of last-minute shopping. 


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