A Very COVID Christmas: The Pandemic’s Impact On Festive Spending

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A Very COVID Christmas: The Pandemic’s Impact on Festive Spending

The Pandemic’s Impact on Festive Spending

From mass job losses to not seeing family and friends for months on end, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people to their limits in 2020.

As an incredibly difficult year draws to a close, people are starting to accept that this festive season will be anything but typical. But while a portion of consumers have reined in their spending due to financial uncertainty, others are spreading Christmas cheer by indulging in gifts for their loved ones.

The graphic above from Raconteur explores how consumers’ festive spending in the U.S. and UK has changed as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

Will the shift trigger permanent changes in the retail industry?

Festive Budget Breakdown

According to creative agency Kinetic, half of all UK adults surveyed believe this Christmas is more important than ever before, with that figure rising to three quarters for 18-34-year-olds.

However, given consumers’ concerns over the future of the economy, they are expected to reduce spending during the festive season. In the U.S. for example, spending will decline by 7% to $1,387 per household.

When it comes to how consumers plan to spend their hard-earned cash, some interesting insights emerge. As many have saved significantly on socializing and travel—which is down 34% year-on-year—they plan to put this money towards items for themselves instead of gifts and gift cards for others. These items include clothes, at-home entertainment, and home furnishings.

It, therefore, comes as little surprise that the global online home decor market is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 13% between 2020-2024 with revenue of over $80 billion.

Dampening the Christmas Spirit?

Unsurprisingly, over half of all U.S. consumers are anxious about shopping in-store this holiday season. The vast majority have health and safety concerns, with 71% being the most worried about dealing with others who aren’t taking the virus seriously. This is closely followed by being around, or too close to others in stores.

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