COVID-19

Online shopping uptick expected to continue for holidays

Samantha Fields Nov 26, 2020
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Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Housing Works
COVID-19

Online shopping uptick expected to continue for holidays

Samantha Fields Nov 26, 2020
Heard on:
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Housing Works
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Tomorrow is Black Friday. A recent survey from Deloitte found that nearly 60% of people are anxious about shopping in a store right now, with COVID cases rising across the country. And about 75% say they’re planning to shop online to avoid crowds.

What does this mean for the holiday shopping season?

More people have been shopping online during the pandemic than ever. Brendan Witcher, an analyst at Forrester, said “there’s no doubt that it’s going to go up from here” during the holidays.

That will benefit big online retailers. But, Witcher said, a lot of people are also likely to do their shopping later this year because their holiday plans are still up in the air.

“And until we know when we’re going to see someone, we’re not going to make our choice on when to buy that gift,” he said.

That could give small, local businesses an advantage, he said, if they offer last-minute curbside pickup or same-day delivery.

Emily Gloekler is trying to offer as many options as possible for customers to shop at her Chicago boutique, One Strange Bird — in-store, online, curbside, delivery.

“I’m happy for people to call in. I love curating individual gifts for people,” Gloekler said.

November has been slow, she said. But she’s been encouraged by the number of customers who’ve told her they’re planning to shop locally.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

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