How Retailers, Shoppers Are Preparing For Holiday Season

By Christina Estes
Published: Friday, October 23, 2020 - 12:00am
Updated: Friday, October 23, 2020 - 9:04am

Holiday shopping boxes and bags

This year you’ll likely encounter holiday shopping ads sooner than ever. That’s because, thanks to the pandemic, this holiday season is like no other. 

In its holiday trends reports, commercial real estate firm CBRE projects online shopping will increase 40% compared to last November and December, putting e-commerce’s share of total retail sales in November and December at 39%.

But Todd Folger with CBRE thinks some brick and mortar locations across the Valley could do pretty well as we finally put the long, hot summer behind us.

“I think there’s a very good opportunity in the outdoor malls, lifestyle centers where you can pivot to having stuff outside in the parking lots,” he said.

CBRE says the holiday shopping season will start earlier than ever this year as retailers  try to spread out demand to avoid overtaxing supply chains. Fogler says stores will also spread out promotions.

“It allows us to get away from the door buster events, the Black Friday events, which as you know is not something we want to encourage or participate in,” he said.

The accounting firm Deloitte says 51% of people in its holiday retail survey are anxious about shopping in stores due to COVID-19. It says the average household will spend $1,387, down 7% from last year. Money spent on travel will drop 34% year over year.

In September, Target announced it would have twice as many employees dedicated to contactless services this season including drive-up and order pickup. In October, the retailer announced employees will be monitoring and limiting the number of people in stores. By checking Target’s website, shoppers will be able to see if there’s a line outside a store and reserve a spot.

Key Trends From CBRE’s Holiday Report:

  • Slower brick-and-mortar sales.
  • Longer shopping season.
  • Second surge in e-commerce sales.
  • Balancing safety and experience in physical retail.