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Publication | ThinkSet

Six Ways the Retail Industry Is Preparing for Consumer Demand This Holiday Season

Keith Jelinek and Elizabeth Arnold

November 18, 2021

Amid a labor shortage and lagging global supply chain, companies will have to rethink their retail strategy.

For retailers across the country, a unique confluence of events has formed for the 2021 holiday shopping season.

The global supply chain remains in disarray, and the Great Resignation has retailers (indeed, most employers) struggling to fully staff up. Consumers, meanwhile, appear bound and determined to shop both online and, critically, in person despite lingering COVID-19 concerns.

Put it all together, and retailers must be ready for nearly anything in the coming weeks.

That consumers aren’t shying away was clear in BRG Retail’s second-wave holiday shopping survey, fielded in mid-October, and new report, Shoppers Look Ready to Spend Big This Holiday—Will They Be Able To? Based on the data, consumers are less concerned than they had been in August that COVID-19 would prevent holiday celebrations, and a greater percentage—89 percent, 3 percentage points higher than in August—expect to purchase gifts for the upcoming holidays; expected spending was up about 5 percentage points compared with August.

Almost two-thirds of consumers said that spending will take place in a mix of online and physical stores. It’s even conceivable that consumer demand could continue growing in the short term if shoppers decide to buy sooner to snap-up items that are in short supply.

Keith Jelinek and Elizabeth Arnold write that with a busy shopping season fast approaching, retailers are adopting six strategies to prepare.

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Keith Jelinek

Managing Director

Los Angeles, Century City

Elizabeth Arnold

Director

San Francisco Bay Area