Covid-19 and the holiday season – Lee Chandler

This pandemic, since its inception, has affected our lives in more ways than one, especially our way of conducting business. Some companies, unable to quickly adapt to this change have fallen out of the race. To accommodate our current lifestyle, businesses have had to become creative and envision new ways of increasing sales while adhering to the many guidelines in place to stop the spread of the virus. As the biggest source of revenue for retailers, this upcoming holiday season will, by no doubt, also be affected.

Given the current risks and travel regulations, it is quite certain that new and creative ways of celebrating the holidays will see the light. According to statistics across the board, about half of the population expect smaller or virtual gatherings for the upcoming holiday season. 

Although Halloween is scheduled to go on as planned, most people are planning to stay at home or modify their way of celebrating by implementing drive through trick or treating or virtual parties. Many counties and states have yet to release information on restrictions surrounding the event, but they are very likely to be in par with the safety guidance and social distancing regulations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Celebrations for this upcoming Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday are no different. As part of current strategies to remain afloat, big retailers are planning to close their stores on Thanksgiving Day but, are yet to release business hours for Black Friday. Many retailers are planning on starting deals early in hopes of thinning out the crowd and spreading out orders before the big overload later this year. Macy’s has announced that their annual thanksgiving parade would be shifted online in order to not disappoint their customers.

Amazon’s Prime day, which is usually held in the summer, has been delayed, although current information suggest that it will be held in October.

 Given the rise in unemployment due to the pandemic, one would expect sales to decrease during the 4th quarter however, “according to a report from CNBC, Deloitte envisions holiday sales between $1.147 trillion and $1.152 trillion, which suggests an increase of 1-1.5% during the November-January period (Zacks, 2020)”. Big name retailers are trying their best to adapt and make the most out of the situation at hand. Leading E-commerce retailer Amazon has announced that they are planning on hiring as much as 100,000 seasonal workers, UPS and FedEx have also announced that they will be hiring nearly 170,000 employees to shoulder the upcoming season. 

The current state of affairs has certainly affected our enthusiasm for the holiday season but all is not lost. Companies are working hard to accommodate all needs and hopefully bring back our holiday spirit, despite the drastic changes to our lifestyles. Many more lasting changes should be expected throughout the remainder of this pandemic. The current state of the economy coupled with the social unrest will without a doubt reshape the current business model into that of a new economic era.

References

Breen, K. (2020, September 16). Halloween 2020 and COVID-19: What is changing this year? Retrieved from Today: https://www.today.com/parents/halloween-2020-covid-19-what-changing-year-t191523

Hickey, A. (2020, September 14). Retailers Prepare for Holiday Season in a Pandemic . Retrieved from Morning Brew: https://www.morningbrew.com/daily/stories/2020/09/14/retailers-prepare-holiday-season-pandemic

SAKAL, V. ( 2020 , SEPTEMBER 10). How COVID-19 Is Changing the Holiday Shopping Season. Retrieved from Morning Consult : https://morningconsult.com/form/2020-holiday-shopping/

Zacks. (2020, September 15). How Will 2020 Holiday Season Play Out Amid COVID-19 Blues? Retrieved from Nasdaq: https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/how-will-2020-holiday-season-play-out-amid-covid-19-blues-2020-09-15

 

Anah Ayassor

https://www.linkedin.com/in/anah-ayassor-734623b6/.

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