Online shopping uptick expected to continue for holidays
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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
What are the details of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan?
The $1.9 trillion plan would aim to speed up the vaccine rollout and provide financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. It would also include $1,400 checks for most Americans. Get the rest of the specifics here.
What kind of help can small businesses get right now?
A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.
What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?
New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.