How Covid-19 Will Change Holiday Shopping

How Covid-19 Will Change Holiday Shopping
"I think with the shift of consumer shopping habits from in-store shopping to online shopping (which is expected to stay), retailers that have no or only a poor online presence will have a difficult time to keep their operations running and stay competitive in the current environment," says Simone Peinkofer.
(Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Autumn has just gotten underway, but retailers are already hard at work preparing for the 2020 holiday shopping season, made more difficult this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The year has been extremely challenging for retail businesses of all sizes, so many are hoping to make up for some of the losses that resulted from slower consumer spending and no in-person shopping.

The 2020 holiday season, much like the majority of the year, will be like none other. But what does this mean for retailers?

Here, Simone Peinkofer, assistant professor of supply chain management at Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business, discusses what the holiday shopping season may look like for consumers and retailers alike:

Q

Research shows Americans are still shopping and the retail industry overall is rebounding, though it’s slower than one might hope. What kind of retailer casualties should we expect next?

A

We have seen multiple big-name retailers file for bankruptcy over the past few months and even before the pandemic began. So even before the pandemic, there was a multitude of retailers—like J.C. Penney, Pier 1, Lord & Taylor, and Century 21—that were already struggling, but the pandemic seems to have accelerated the faith of these retailers to file for bankruptcy.

As the pandemic continues, we are likely to see other retailers struggle too. I think with the shift of consumer shopping habits from in-store shopping to online shopping (which is expected to stay), retailers that have no or only a poor online presence will have a difficult time to keep their operations running and stay competitive in the current environment.

In addition, small- and medium-sized retailers which might have received some kind of federal aid to help buffer the initial negative impact of the pandemic might also have to fear for their existence now—especially if their sales have not recovered yet.

Q

The holidays are historically a time for large crowds to shop in-person. Any thoughts how this may change this year amid the pandemic?

A

While it’s difficult to say exactly how holiday shopping will change this year, it will surely be different during these unprecedented times.

Consumer spending is down—which is not surprising considering the current unemployment rate in the US—thus, the retailers already struggling find will themselves in a competitive environment. These retailers are likely to come up with strategies to attract customers and increase sales during their most important selling season of the year.

For example, given that spending is down and retailers need to lure customers, it is likely that we will see holiday sales rolled out earlier than usual to increase sales.

Q

Will sales/discount periods last longer to allow more spread out crowds? What about Black Friday—how will this change this year?

A

Multiple retailers already announced that they would be closed on Thanksgiving Day. With the increased demand for online shopping due to the pandemic, I think that we will see an increase in e-commerce also for Black Friday in comparison to last year since it provides customers with a safe and convenient shopping option.

One of the biggest issues I can see for retailers pertaining to Black Friday is how to keep the customers that do decide to go into the store safe. Retailers will need to develop new and enhanced protocols to keep their customers and employees safe.

Q

On the topic of Black Friday, retailers in recent years have campaigned to close their locations on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Will this have a more evident impact on sales this year than it might have in year’s past?

A

The upcoming holiday season could really be another make or break point for a lot of retailers. As the pandemic has evolved, we’ve seen retailers that already had invested in omni-channel capabilities were better equipped to adopt their operations to the change in customer shopping habits from in-store to online shopping to serve their customers. We have also seen that the retailers that lacked such capabilities were—and are still—struggling.

In order to handle the additional surge of online orders, we are likely to see retailers hiring temporary workers—which is common for the retailing industry during the holiday season.

Although there are retailers that appear to be well-equipped for the holiday season, we should not forget that industries are interconnected and one important industry partner for successful e-commerce, for example, is parcel providers or other last-mile logistic providers.

However, these companies operate with a specific capacity limit (i.e. they can only transport and process a specific number of parcels per day) and, as we have seen especially at the beginning of the pandemic, the surge in e-commerce led to serious delivery issues. Indeed, parcel providers are still struggling to provide the same service as they did pre-pandemic.

About the Author

Source: Michigan State University

More Articles By This Author

You May Also Like

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeeliwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptroruesswsvthtrukurvi

INNERSELF VOICES

man and dog in front of giant sequoia trees in California
The Art of Constant Wonder: Thank you, Life, for this day
by Pierre Pradervand
One of the greatest secrets of life is to know how to constantly marvel at existence and at the…
Photo: Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017.
Horoscope: Week of November 29 - December 5, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
young boy looking through binoculars
The Power of Five: Five Weeks, Five Months, Five Years
by Shelly Tygielski
At times, we have to let go of what is to make room for what will be. Of course, the very idea of…
man eating fast food
It's Not About the Food: Overeating, Addictions, and Emotions
by Jude Bijou
What if I told you a new diet called the "It's Not About the Food" is gaining popularity and…
woman dancing in the middle of an empty highway with a city skyline in the background
Having the Courage to Be True to Ourselves
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Each one of us is a unique individual, and thus it seems to follow that each one of us has a…
Lunar eclipse through colored clouds. Howard Cohen, November 18, 2021, Gainesville, FL
Horoscope: Week of November 22 - 28, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
a young boy climbing to the top of a rock formation
A Positive Way Forward Is Possible Even in the Darkest Times
by Elliott Noble-Holt
Falling into a rut doesn’t mean we have to stay there. Even when it can seem like an insurmountable…
woman wearing a crown of flowers staring with an unwavering gaze
Hold That Unwavering Gaze! Lunar and Solar Eclipses November-December 2021
by Sarah Varcas
This second and final eclipse season of 2021 began on 5th November and features a lunar eclipse in…
Where to Find the Love of Your Life
Where to Find the Love of Your Life
by Alan Cohen
After many years of coaching and leading seminars, I have discovered two areas that most people ask…
picture of a man writing on sheets of paper
Channeling As A Healing Tool and Its Impact On Grief
by Matthew McKay, PhD.
When my boy died, I had no belief that the dead could talk to us. At best, they seemed gone in…
"I Am An Introvert": The Myths of Introversion
"I Am An Introvert": The Myths of Introversion
by Jane Finkle
It is natural to want to fit into a category that gives us an identity, especially if that identity…

Selected for InnerSelf Magazine

MOST READ

How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
by Jackie Cassell, Professor of Primary Care Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The precarious economies of many traditional seaside towns have declined still further since the…
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
by Sonja Grace
As you experience being an earth angel, you will discover that the path of service is riddled with…
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
by Barbara Berger
One of the biggest things I've discovered working with clients everyday is how extremely difficult…
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
by Lucy Delap, University of Cambridge
The 1970s anti-sexist men’s movement had an infrastructure of magazines, conferences, men’s centres…
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
by Susan Campbell, Ph.D.
According to most of the singles I have met in my travels, the typical dating situation is fraught…
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
by Tracy Marks
Astrology is a powerful art, capable of enhancing our lives by enabling us to understand our own…
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
If you're waiting for a change and frustrated it's not happening, maybe it would be beneficial to…
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
by Glen Park
Flamenco dancing is a delight to watch. A good flamenco dancer exudes an exuberant self-confidence…

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.