Since Labor Day in the US is the first Monday in September, this year it happens as late as possible. Labor Day will not be celebrated until next Monday, September 7.
Most years, most folks would be perfectly happy to have August stretched out even longer. Ahh, those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, right?
And so, meanwhile, we regard Consumer Confidence as THE key indicator of consumer spending. Just last week, the Conference Board reported that Consumer confidence is at a six year low*. Ouch!
But, was that a surprise to retailers? Not really. Most retailers are well along in coping with these challenges.
For instance, while this year's Back-to-School season was subdued, it did reward those retailers who thoughtfully anticipated how their customers would be adapting to 2020.
And those same trends will be playing out for Holiday 2020 as well.
One of the biggest changes in Holiday purchases will be the reduced spending on "experiences": tickets to concerts or sporting events; ski lift tickets; travel; restaurant gift certificates; etc. For the first time in many years, in 2020 there will be more focus on gift giving of actual items.
We are reminded once again that there are Three Kinds of Retailers.
And once again, it is the independent retailers who predominate in that first group.
Consumer confidence tumbles to new pandemic low after summer viral outbreak. Jeffrey Bartash, Market Watch. August 25, 2020.
Consider this: Will this Holiday Season happen...
What a 90 days it will be!
Remember July and early August, when there was much optimism?
As we introduced previously, the New Normal for retailers is already here. It is a new "retail clock."
Of course, it is not just retailers who have been affected; the shoppers also have been adapting. But whereas retailers think in terms of seasons (weeks and months), the shoppers are adjusting their patterns at the daily and weekly level.
As more stores are able to reopen, and more shoppers are willing to emerge, what will they encounter?
Usually at this time of year, we would be encouraging you to remember that "the lull" is about to arrive.
That is, that time span from Black Friday/Cyber Monday through early December is typically much slower for retailers.
And then, come December 10th or so, the Christmas sprint begins!
Ahh yes. That was then. And this is, well, 2020.
As the final third of the year approaches, there's a "new era" afoot. There is optimism in the air.
Yes! And it could catch a lot of folks by surprise.
A few years ago, during a planning session in our office, we drew a quick diagram on a whiteboard. It showed three shapes.
Out of all of the potential things we could do, which ones truly warrant our time, energy, and resources?
That picture keeps coming to mind as the COVID-19 shutdown orders on retailers of "non-essential" goods are starting to be lifted.
Still less than $1 a day! 👀