The retail environment’s tone is set by 3 days in late November: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Over the past month, Wall Street has rallied sharply higher based on positive vaccine news. Let’s see if Main Street businesses can keep up or survive long-enough to see the new world change.
Analysts already expected online sales to continue their decade-long advance as a total proportion of spending, but this trend was absolutely destined to skyrocket in 2020 as shoppers avoid physical location shopping due to the ongoing pandemic. Online sales on Black Friday rose 21.6% to a new record – $9 billion – according to Adobe analytics. Conversely, the Wall Street Journal reports that foot traffic at brick-and-mortar retail locations is half of what it should be. Anecdotal reports from Yahoo Finance show modest traffic (not the hair-raising crowds of years prior) at mainstay shopping destinations like Macy’s or Best Buy. Major retailers like Nordstrom’s and Macy’s are losing stock value as a result of the data.
In other words, the COVID19 pandemic is accelerating the already existing trends impacting the retail environment.