2021 holiday shopping predictions

Channing Hill, Howler Staff Writer

This 2021 shopping season is expected to be drastically different compared to previous years. 

Several retail analysts are speculating that extravagant spending will rule the festive season. Mastercard SpendingPulse predicts that holiday retail sales will rise 7.4% from last year and rise 1.11% in two years. 

An article by CNBC, says that even individual retailers are expecting to make changes as the holidays grow closer. CEO of Walmart, Doug McMillon, said he would hire 20,000 supply-chain employees (freight handlers, lift drivers, etc.). Home Depot said they sold out of Halloween decorations particularly early this year, an indication that shoppers may have the same appetite for holiday decorations too. 

The main reason for all these changes can be traced back to shipping delays and lack of employees. Due to the pandemic, there are fewer workers available to deliver packages, which is why customers can expect their orders to take longer to arrive. According to Adobe Business, out-of-stock messages have increased 172% compared to the pre-pandemic period. 

Holiday discounts are also expected to take a turn for the worst. This year, Labor Day and Memorial Day sales experienced price drops from 2-7% in categories like toys, electronics, and furniture (comparatively smaller than the discounts observed in 2020 and 2019, when prices dropped 5-11%). 

Needless to say, consumers can expect to encounter changes in shopping trends this holiday season. However, shopping trends and shipping delays do not define the holiday season and the valuable time spent with others around this time of year.