Holiday Shopping Forecast To Move Online This Year

The Christmas holiday season this year looks like it will involve mostly online shopping.

A new survey from consulting firm Deloitte forecasts that shoppers will visit fewer stores than ever this holiday season.

Consumers are planning to visit just 5.2 retail stores on average, Deloitte found in its annual holiday survey. That’s down from seven last year, 6.9 in 2018 and 5.7 in 2017. It marks a record low for the survey, which polled 4,012 consumers from September 9 to 15.

Part of the reason for the drop is because safety remains top of mind for consumers, said Deloitte. The survey found that 51% of people are anxious about going to stores this holiday season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meantime, consumers are planning to squeeze in their spending in less time. That’s despite the doorbuster-like deals that kicked off last week with Amazon’s 48-hour Prime Day and rival sales events. Although retailers want to lengthen the season, shoppers hope to complete their holiday purchases in 5.9 weeks, Deloitte’s survey found. That’s nearly two weeks less than a year ago.

Some shoppers are afraid of running out of money if they start spending too early, or if they wait too long, they’re afraid items won’t arrive at their doorsteps in time for Christmas.

People also plan to travel just 9.6 miles on average to buy gifts this season, Deloitte found. Sixty-nine per cent (69%) of consumers would prefer to shop close to home when they’re venturing out to stores and malls.