October 12, 2020
This holiday season will be shaped by changes to the shopper experience as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Topping Los Angeles-based CBRE’s list of fundamental holiday shopping trends are an explosion in e-commerce sales; an early start to a longer shopping season to reduce crowds; greater use of curbside pickup; and enhanced safety protocols at physical locations.
CBRE’s annual Holiday Trends Guide highlights trends in both retailing and consumer shopping, as well as the impact of those shifts on the U.S. commercial real estate retail market.
“Retail hasn’t grappled with anything like the challenges it faces this year, and the holiday retail season will be affected as retailers adjust to changing shopping behaviors,” said CBRE’s John Morris. “We will see modest growth this holiday season, as brick-and-mortar sales will be challenged and overall consumer confidence is tepid. However, e-commerce sales will hit new highs in 2020.”
Overall holiday retail sales are expected to grow less than 2% year-over year, a slower rate than previous years, according to CBRE. To wit, holiday retail sales have averaged 4.1% growth per year since 2010.
Meanwhile, CBRE foresees e-commerce sales surging at a record growth rate of more than 40% in November and December. This is up from the previous holiday growth record of 14%, set in 2019.
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