The holiday shopping season is fast approaching, but will the pandemic curtail consumer spending on gifts and other festive products?

The Supply Chain Quarterly website, citing a study of 1,000 consumers by the omnichannel technology provider Radial, reports that most Americans don’t expect to cut their holiday spending significantly in 2020 compared to last year, although 66% expect to do more of their shopping online.

Overall, 60% of consumers say they plan to do less in-store shopping in 2020 due to fear of coronavirus exposure.

Although a rise in delivery times is a concern, 41% don’t plan to start shopping for holiday gifts earlier, meaning that retailers won’t experience any break between normal online orders (already increased by the pandemic) and the rush of orders during the holiday season.

Thirty-nine percent of shoppers expect to start their holiday shopping in October and early November, and 30% won’t start until the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales after Thanksgiving.

Most consumers in the survey say they expect to spend about the same on gifts this year as last year. As far as in-store shopping goes, 63% of consumers say they are slightly to very much more likely to frequent retailers who are following COVID-19 safety guidelines in their stores.

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