The Covid-19 pandemic will have an impact on holiday shopping again this year, but spending levels are expected to increase and anxieties to ease compared to 2020, according to the 2021 Deloitte Holiday Retail Survey, released this week.The consulting firm polled more than 4,000 U.S. consumers and conducted a separate executive survey among retailers for the report, which showed that people are ready to spend again this year although they remain concerned about stockouts and delayed shipments. Among the key findings: holiday spending will average $1,463 per household, up 5% from last year, with higher income shoppers driving nearly all gains; and although digital shopping channels are here to stay, the study found that pre-pandemic behaviors are returning, including experiences—socializing, travel, and entertaining—which increased 15% from 2020.
Other findings include:
Seventy-five percent of consumers said they are concerned about stockouts, and another 68% said they expect to see higher prices for the gifts they put under the tree.
Forty-eight percent of consumers said they are at least somewhat concerned about shipping delays during the holiday season–for which they say they will most likely hold delivery companies accountable (33%), over other factors such as weather conditions (27%) and the retailers themselves (21%).
Concerns about supply chain issues and stockouts have 4 in 10 shoppers starting earlier this year, and coincide with an increased emphasis on experiences this season.
“Retailers will see strong growth this holiday season, even as supply chain issues, inflation, and highly bifurcated spending continue to impact our industry,” Ron Sides, vice chairman for Deloitte LLP, and U.S. retail, wholesale, and distribution leader, said in a statement. “Consumers have adapted to life during the pandemic and even though they are venturing out again, digital engagement shows no sign of slowing. Retailers who remain resilient by offering promotions early, appealing to in-store and online shoppers, and planning their inventories well in advance, are likely to experience not just a robust holiday season, but will be well positioned for continued sales into the new year.”