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The Holiday Retail Market Research Behind Last Weekend’s Shopping Surge

Posted by TrendSource on 11/25/20 8:00 AM

For reasons not worth getting into, my man and I drove from Long Beach all the way across southern California to San Bernardino, about a 60-mile trip due east. And, dear reader, let me tell you what I saw: Malls, both indoor and out, from the coast all the way to the mountains, with entirely full parking lots. Not just crowded...entirely full. People were driving around looking for parking. 

Throw in the Wall Street Journal’s recent survey of malls in three states, which showed them to be similarly popping, and I think it’s safe to say that, last weekend at least, people were shopping like their life depended on it (when, sadly, it might depend on them NOT shopping). 

How to explain these crowds, in a week where the United States surpassed 12 million active cases of COVID-19? Is this a sign of things to come, or an early blip in an abnormal shopping season? Well, we are putting in the retail market research to understand this in-store shopping surge and what retailers are already doing to keep the momentum going (it has to do with lobbying). 

Retail Market Research: Why Consumers are Crowding Malls in a Pandemic

Despite the crowds, it is important to know that the majority of consumers are, by and large, migrating their purchases online. Indeed, the National Retail Federation says that online shopping this holiday season will increase by up to 30% over last year. 

Yet, if my eyes and the Wall Street Journal are to be believed, this online surge has not curtailed in-store shopping. But there is some important context here that suggests this initial surge is a unique phenomenon in a unique year.

Indeed, it is likely that many of the people crowding malls are combining limited in-store shopping with their digital shopping plan. They would like to avoid stores as much as possible but also want to make sure they get what they want. often going for a “one-time-only” type of trip aimed at securing particularly hard to get items (read: PS5) or personally inspecting a big ticket item before purchase.

Other shoppers are following a similar one-and-done plan, but are hunting for more than just that one impossible-to-get item. According to one shopper in Michigan:  “I’ll still do most of my shopping online this year. I’m trying really hard not to come out too much, and we almost didn’t do this shopping trip this year, but in the end we decided to do it and try our best to be safe about it.”

Beating the Crowds and Racing Against a Second Lockdown

With so many shoppers planning to limit their shopping, is it possible that last weekend was merely a temporary surge that will soon level out? Anecdotally, at least, it seems that consumers have a few reasons for a pre-Thanksgiving holiday shopping rush. 

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Topics: Market Research, Holiday Shopping, Omnichannel, Retail, Digital Technology, COVID-19, Health and Safety

Holiday Retail Market Research: Amid Pandemic, Custom and DIY Gifts Soar

Posted by TrendSource on 11/19/20 9:40 AM

As we discussed in our blog a couple weeks ago, despite 2020 unleashing nearly every horror imaginable upon us, holiday spending forecasts show roughly a $50/household spending decline, which, given the totality of this year's tumult, is not all that much. 

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Topics: Market Research, Holiday Shopping, Omnichannel, Retail, Digital Technology, Amazon, COVID-19

Retail is Rebounding Just in Time for the Holidays

Posted by TrendSource on 11/5/20 9:20 AM

The National Retail Foundation (NRF) gave the retail industry some hope, which had been in short supply since the pandemic began. We can all use some good news, right? 

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Topics: Market Research, Holiday Shopping, Retail, Consumer Buying Behavior, COVID-19

2017 Post-Holiday Report: CPG and Retail Industry Insights

Posted by TrendSource on 2/22/18 8:55 AM

We are doing things a bit differently this year. As you may have noticed, we have done away with our Pre-Holiday Reports, retiring them after five great years of forecasting and exploring purchase intentions. Our reasoning: Pre-Holiday Reports, we have heard from our Retail industry and CPG industry clients, do not provide adequate time to put insights into action—by the time shoppers have shaped their holiday purchase intentions, retailers have necessarily already completed their holiday preparations.

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Topics: Holiday Shopping, Consumer Electronics, Consumer Behavior, Retail, CPG, Consumer Insights Studies, Fashion, Consumer Insights Study, Amazon

Has Walmart Solved the Omnichannel Retail Labor Puzzle?

Posted by TrendSource on 10/23/17 8:03 AM

With the Holidays looming, it's time to staff up and retailers are well into their yearly dance with seasonal employees, courting them with extra holiday spending money and those 10-30 percent staff discounts. But while many familiar faces are already filling up their dance cards, Walmart is standing with its back up on the wall: they aren't hiring. Instead, for the second year consecutively, they will distribute additional holiday hours among their existing associates.

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Topics: Holiday Shopping, Technology, Retail, Digital Technology, Labor

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