Just like nearly everything else, holiday spending may be a little different this year. According to a recent survey, consumers plan on spending more for others this year but less on themselves, less on travel and more online. Those statistics make Florida retailers a little nervous.
Scott Shalley, president and CEO of Florida Retail Federation (FRF) said. “This year has been incredibly challenging for so many, especially Florida’s retailers, and the holiday shopping season is crucial to their survival.”
According to FRF, COVID-19 has had wide-ranging impacts on retail operations. Hundreds of storefronts across Florida were forced to close their doors for periods of time. Stores invested in new technologies, dividers and signage to help implement CDC guidelines and prevent the spread of illness. Global investments, trade and logistics also affected the availability and timeliness of goods on shelves.
“We know that consumers have a choice when it comes to where you shop,” said Shalley. “When you shop at businesses that have a presence here in the Sunshine State, you’re supporting Florida jobs, Florida families and Florida’s economy.”
According to FRF, Florida’s retail industry generally supports 2.7 million jobs across the Sunshine State, or one in every five jobs.
Traditionally, according to FRF, purchases made at retail stores during the month of November and December account for nearly one-fifth, or 19 percent, of a store’s annual sales. For many retailers, it’s even higher than that.
Data from a recent survey conducted for the National Retail Federation by Prosper Insights & Analytics indicates consumers plan to spend a little less (around five percent less) overall on items this season, but are shopping sooner.
“Consumers are taking advantage of a variety of offerings from retailers this holiday season including earlier sales promotions and shipping options,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Consumers are focusing on making the holidays special for others but are playing it by ear when it comes to those ‘extra’ items they might get for themselves.”
One in five (19 percent) holiday shoppers say that they typically travel for the holidays but will stay home instead this year, according to the survey. Over half (53 percent) of those who changed their holiday travel plans said they are likely to spend more on holiday items this year, specifically because they will not be traveling.
“As online sales have skyrocketed during the pandemic, it comes as no surprise that the majority (60 percent) of consumers say they plan to purchase holiday items online this year. Nearly all (91 percent) online shoppers plan to take advantage of free shipping, while another 44 percent plan to use buy online, pick up in store and 16 percent plan to use same-day delivery,” according to the survey.
Other top holiday shopping destinations for consumers include department stores, mentioned by 45 percent, discount stores (43 percent), and grocery stores or supermarkets (42 percent).