Holiday shopping will look different this year, with discounts coming early
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Retailers who were stockpiling things like electronics, clothing and appliances a year ago are in a bind now that folks aren’t spending as freely on stuff.
That means holiday discounts will come early this year, and they’ll be a lot steeper than at the height of the supply chain crisis.
Last year, it was hard to find a good deal on, say, a tablet or an air fryer. Retailers could barely keep that kind of stuff in stock because of the supply chain crisis.
“Fast forward to 2022, there has essentially been a turning of the page and almost a flip-flop,” said Terry Esper, a professor of logistics at Ohio State University.
Retailers stocked up just as inflation started to squeeze household budgets, he said. “We have to grapple with all that extra buying of inventory, and we’re dealing with a consumer that has now changed.”
That is, a consumer who is much more sensitive to prices. If you’ve got electronics, kitchen gadgets or clothing on your holiday shopping list, you might be in luck, said Vivek Pandya with Adobe Analytics.
“Consumers are going to be seeing some of the best discounts they’ve seen in quite some time.”
Those discounts that will start early — as soon as this week — and will continue into December.
“Retailers are spreading out the discounts, and consumers are wanting the discounts to be spread out, which is good,” Pandya said.
Another shift? Online holiday shopping won’t see the same explosive growth as last year and the year before, a report from Adobe found. That’s showing up in seasonal hiring, according to Sinem Buber, lead economist with ZipRecruiter.
“We are definitely seeing more positions to support your consumers in-store than online shopping.”
A year ago, we preferred the convenience of shopping from our couches. But now, “people are more likely to show up at the store, leave the convenience of online shopping to get an additional 10% off,” Buber said.
2020 and 2021 were anomalous, Buber added. This year, holiday shopping will look more like it did before the pandemic.
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