Can Retailers Reinvent Holiday Cheer In A Pandemic?

In good years, the holidays are a bright spot in consumers’ lives and, consequently, in retailers’ pockets. In bad years — such as those where a pandemic creates financial uncertainty and record unemployment — the picture is bleaker. There are many different competing factors at play in consumer behavior this year, said Karthik Easwar, associate teaching professor of marketing at Georgetown. On one hand, forced distance as a result of the pandemic, leading to fewer holiday parties and visits from relatives, puts a damper on holiday spirits, and many consumers remain anxious about their finances and job security in an uncertain world. On the other hand, those fortunate enough to feel somewhat secure in their health and finances might lean more heavily into the holidays “to make up for this year,” Easwar said. That could be through decorating the house more, spending more time doing holiday activities like baking cookies, and using savings from the lack of travel and dining out to beef up holiday presents. But it’s likely to be a tale of two holidays across the U.S. Read more at Retail Dive.