Survey shows consumers plan to avoid stores during holiday season 

With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, a new survey has found that over half of US consumers have anxieties about shopping in brick-and-mortar stores over the holidays. 

The study by Deloitte, which was conducted in October and early November, found that 57% of consumers surveyed were concerned about shopping in shops this year. This figure had increased from earlier reports in September, and could be even higher now. 

As retailers and consumers prepare for a predicted online shopping boom, the authors of this study, the authors of the study point out that high levels of anxiety will fuel further online spending. In fact, 61% of respondents said they were planning to shop online this Black Friday. 

Rod Sides, Deloitte vice chairman and U.S. leader for retail, wholesale and distribution, pointed out that the pandemic is “driving folks online and changing behavior,” and that “that percentage is probably even higher now.”

Changes in consumer behavior

The days around Thanksgiving and the run-up to Christmas are usually the busiest of the year. Many consumers use them for big shopping trips, often with family and friends. 

However, the Deloitte survey found that 60% of consumers either “have no plans” or are “unsure” about whether to shop in the coming weeks, either in groups or alone. 

Additionally, 74% of consumers were planning to show online during Thanksgiving week, which is much higher than this time last year. The main reason for this was to avoid large crowds. 

“We’re not going to have a meaningful vaccine rollout, even with the great news this week, in time to have people feel comfortable from a holiday perspective,” Sides said. “So I think this one is going to turn out to be predominantly online.”

A number of retailers have already announced their Black Friday deals. And, in the coming days and weeks, it’s likely more company’s will launch online deals. 

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