For the second year in a row, we expect the pandemic to set the tone for the holiday season.
As we head into the holiday season, we’ll be sharing insights each week in a five-part series.
In 2020, retailers and consumer companies throughout the supply chain were forced to start competing for holiday dollars earlier, with Amazon moving its Prime Day, their annual deal event for members, from July to October, which kicked off a season that saw retail sales rise 3.9% to $1,628.6 billion for the period of October through December, from a year earlier. For the first time since 2008, October sales led the season in total sales.
A year later the robust sales gains will likely continue. Thirty-four percent of consumers anticipate starting their holiday purchases earlier on fears of supply constraints and lack of inventory, according to a holiday shopping survey from Accenture. Personal savings rates are also at historic highs, adding to the likelihood that consumers are ready to deploy their cash toward holiday spending.
This year’s early shopping season, along with eager shoppers, creates an opportunity for the consumer products ecosystem, including middle market retailers, to use data analytics to optimize their pricing strategies and use smart promotions early.
At RSM, we constantly monitor key retail sector data points that identify trends impacting our consumer products clients. We’re also lucky to work with thousands of consumer-facing businesses to understand how they’re reacting to the market forces that are most significantly affecting their businesses. Look for additional insights next week as we continue our consumer products holiday season countdown series.