on October 08, 2021 Retail Insights

Holiday Shopping Predictions Point to Continued Rise in “Post-Pandemic” Shopping

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t’s no secret that retailers of all sizes continue to face some “strong headwinds”. From the tapering off of government stimulus, to the resurgence of COVID-19, to shortages in labor and the ongoing challenges in the supply chain… to say the industry has faced some giants would be an understatement. Despite that, analysts are pointing to a significant uptick in the already increasing sales happening at retail. That’s some welcome good news.

No doubt, challenges remain as retailers forge ahead into the 2021 holiday shopping season; yet, even in the hardest of times, Americans like to shop, and retailers will be there to welcome them. The proof is in the numbers, both in surveys, and in volume reported to industry data houses like the National Retail Federation. Take a look at a recent roundup of stats below. Then get outside, enjoy the change in the air and join us in some pre-holiday shopping!

●  63% of respondents will do most of the shopping in person a year from now, compared with 37% who said online. The split was 43% in person and 24% for online in our previous survey.

●  25% of Americans said they now make big ticket purchases in person, compared with 18% when asked the same question a few months ago. However, that figure jumps to 66% when people are asked about a year from now.

●  The Delta variant could stymie traffic to malls and department stores—as less than half (43%) of shoppers surveyed go to those locations. But that’s up from 32% in March.

(Source: Retail Brew, Harris Poll of 2,046 U.S. Adults, September 2021).


The retail industry is growing. Retail sales have grown by almost 4% annually since 2010. As we emerge from the global pandemic, retail is growing at levels not seen in over 15 years. Retail sales grew an estimated 6.7% in 2020, well above the five-year average of 4.4%. NRF forecasts that sales will grow between 10.5% and 13.5% to more than $4.44 trillion in 2021.

(Source: National Retail Federation)

August Retail Sales Rise, Signaling Retail Resilience Entering Q4

"The increase in vaccinations and re-openings is motivating shoppers to return to their local retailers, creating a demand for retail space past pre-pandemic levels. We're even seeing retailers that thrived during the pandemic gain confidence to expand their footprints to other markets as they see consumers return to pre-pandemic activities…— Naveen Jaggi, President Retail Advisory Services, JLL

(Source: Total Retail, September 2021)

“While COVID-19 is still making headlines as we head into the holidays, vaccine availability and retailers’ health and safety measures have put us in a different place, with many consumers more comfortable shopping in stores compared to the 2020 holiday season.” -- Bjoern Petersen, president of Sensormatic Solutions.

(Source: Forbes Magazine, September 2021)

Chris Bull

Chris Bull is currently a Principal and the President at Spectas. As a Business Development Professional, Executive Leader and Owner in Retail Marketing, Chris has had the privilege of working with and for some of the most iconic brands and retailers in the world.