Publication | BRG Retail

Retail Holiday Outlook – Will Rising COVID Cases Derail Shoppers?

Keith Jelinek, Rick Maicki, Darren Morrison, and Frank Jones

September 9, 2021

After more than a year of battling the challenges of COVID-19, retail looked like it had turned the corner. Shopper enthusiasm had returned, and consumers were excited to shop in stores again. July retail trade sales were up 13.3 percent over the same period last year and 20.2 percent higher than in 2019. Food services and drinking establishments saw an increase of 38.4 percent versus 2020 and 10 percent versus 2019. Consumer spending on services was up nearly 11 percent YOY; spending on durable goods was up 20.6 percent. There has been reason for optimism—but a rise in COVID cases across the country and other challenges are likely to present significant headwinds for retailers and consumer brands as we enter the holiday sales season.

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Darren Morrison

Managing Director