Epidemic-weary shoppers want a meaningful holiday season


This holiday season, shoppers are not planning glitzy and gift-oriented celebrations. Instead, many are preparing for smaller ceremonies, reducting expenses and directing more of their dollars toward retailers who share similar values ​​during the coronovirus epidemic, a new survey According to.

The majority of those polled – 61% – said they plan to reduce in-store shopping to reduce health risks to essential workers, a survey of more than 1,500 U.S. consumers found in August by a consulting firm Gone. An equal number stated that they are more likely to shop at companies that show they are committed to health, safety and hygiene.

More than 40% stated that they would not shop with retailers who have given employees benefits or reduced employee benefits due to the epidemic.

And more than three-quarters of consumers said they want retailers to close on Thanksgiving Day, so workers can take a vacation and spend time with their families.

Jill Standish, who leads Accenture’s retail practice, said the global health crisis has prompted Americans to reflect on the weather differently. People have had to rearrange their homes as they work at the kitchen table or help their children with remote school work. They have seen crying children and barking dogs during a zoom conference call. And they are realizing that they cannot enjoy the same holiday traditions this year or gather with loved ones who live far away.

He said that all of them have increased people’s sympathy for their neighbors, co-workers and even strangers who check the shelves or stock in the store.

“We’ve all been in lockdown, and with our families, and school and home and all the work colliding,” she said. “The holiday is just another extension of that. And yet it makes us all a little more tolerant, a little more humane.”

More than 200,000 Americans have been killed since Kovid-19. Many more have become ill or are hospitalized. That some Americans lost interest in the shopping spree. On average, survey respondents said they plan to spend $ 540 this year. This is a drop of about $ 100 from last year’s average estimated spending of $ 637.

About 40% of those polled said they were not waiting for the holiday season because of Kovid-19 and 35% said they were not waiting for the holiday season for other reasons, such as a loved one Grief or separation from family friend.

About 1 in 4 respondents said they are cutting holiday spending because it has been a difficult year in general and 22% said that Kovid-19 has affected their financial security, which has cost them with spending Making it more careful.

As the holidays draw closer, retailers have begun to announce how their plans differ. Big-box retailers, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy, have said they will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and many have promised to increase holiday sales rather than focus on Black Friday in a 24-hour window that is crowded Encourages stores.

During the initial months of the epidemic, retailers shelved their support of workers. Major grocers such as Kroger and Walmart gave spot bonuses or temporary salary increases. Walmart ran TV commercials featuring hourly employees as heroes. Target set with $ 15 per hour minimum wage increase.

During the protests that followed the assassination of George Floyd, many companies promised to increase the diversity of their workforce, donate to nonprofits focused on racial justice, and put more goods on their shelves than businesses owned by minorities .

When Americans visit the holiday season or on the websites of retailers, Standish said they will continue to pay attention. They will read and hear about companies’ practices on social media or in the news. They will notice if employees are worried or do not have enough protective gear.

“It’s not just about the product,” she said. “It stands for who is behind the product and what is the personality of that brand and do I believe in it.”

For example, she said, about 4 in 10 respondents said they plan to shop in minority-owned businesses, and the same number said they would shop with retailers who support the Black Lives Matter movement We do.

Standish said that it becomes even easier for consumers to act on their own values ​​when they browse for gifts online. About 75% said that they plan to do at least some holiday shopping online and 43% said they plan to shop online especially this holiday season.

“It’s clear who is really righteous and who is doing the right thing,” she said. “When consumers have a choice and they shop online and it is a product that is available from other retailers, they have the ability to go shift. They can compare. They can shop elsewhere. So transparency is like no other. Authenticity is not like this holiday. “

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