Meijer Study Suggests Closer To Home Consumer Spending

In a customer study, Meijer found that 60% of shoppers plan to spend the same money on food and gifts this holiday season as they have in the past but will splurge on those closest to them, with kids being particular beneficiaries.

With less travel and fewer events to attend, consumers will shift some spending although not all. According to the study, consumers will devote a portion of spending on adapting living spaces– both inside and out– to maintain safe distance during holiday get-togethers. The survey finds that about eight out of 10 customers expect to decorate as much or more in 2020 than in the year-past holiday season.

The study shed light on some specific holiday points:

  • Gathering size. On average, consumers expect their Thanksgiving celebrations to include eight people, down from 14 last year. They expect Christmas gatherings to shrink from an average of 16 people in 2019 to nine attendees this year.
  • Hosting and Traveling. About 55% of consumers will limit the number of holiday gatherings they plan to attend while one in three do not plan on hosting gatherings at home. Around 40% intend to pass on visiting family and 37% won’t travel to see friends. Meanwhile, 22% of customers expect to use video gatherings to communicate with loved ones.
  • Thanksgiving Shopping. Consumers surveyed said they plan on doing 74% of their Thanksgiving dinner shopping in stores this year, while the rest plan on using pickup or delivery services.
  • Holiday Shopping. Consumers are split between digital and in-store shopping. Due to the pandemic, Meijer expects a roughly 400% increase in curbside and delivery service use for grocery and select general merchandise throughout the holiday season.
  • That’s Entertainment. Although they intend to host smaller gatherings, consumers expect to spend the same on food, indicating that people want to put out a full table even with fewer attendees. Survey results indicate that 75% of holiday shoppers anticipate attending fewer get-togethers where they would traditionally bring food or a gift, but attendees may be confused about etiquette for gift giving.

“We are beginning to see holiday excitement as customers prepare for their Thanksgiving dinners and continue seeking deals to complete their shopping lists,” said Peter Whitsett, Meijer evp/merchandising and marketing. “Our focus is to continue to maintain clean, socially distanced stores and make sure customers have multiple ways to take advantage of our sales.”