Coresight: Consumers Reconsidering Holiday Spending

A recent Coresight Research study suggests that this upcoming holiday season will be one when previous trends will reverse or shift as consumers consider how they feel about where and when they spend money.

Consumers responding to the survey said the spending cuts they’ve made due to the pandemic will continue into the holiday season. About half of survey respondents said they expect to spend less during the holidays this year compared to last year. However, retail may not bear the brunt of the less spending. Survey respondents were more focused on non-retail activities, such as dining out and taking vacations, when considering where to reign in spending versus 2019.

Consumer spending will also shift as to when holiday shoppers do their spending. A stable proportion of holiday shoppers, about one-third of the total, expect to do seasonal shopping on Amazon Prime Day. Amazon shifted Prime Day to the fourth quarter this year in response to coronavirus-related complications in the market and its own business. Although no date has been announced for Prime Day, expectations in the marketplace are for an October date. That aside, the one third of consumers who plan to shop on the rescheduled Prime Day still is higher than the proportion that expect to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

In terms of where consumers will shop physically, avoidance of public places remains high, with the proportion of wary shoppers above 80% for the fifth consecutive week. In fact, in the survey, about 85% of respondents said they were currently avoiding some type of public place. Avoidance of food service facilities saw the highest week-over-week increase, up six percentage points. Food service operations overtook shopping centers/malls as the most-shunned consumer destination.