The 2020 holiday shopping season is set to end on a high note.
Thanksgiving and, debatably more importantly, Black Friday, have come and gone, and with only a handful of reported assaults around the country! How nice. However, the holiday shopping season isn’t over until Cyber Monday has passed, and if you ask the various retailers of the United States, the outlook of their sales is looking pretty good.
In spite of the supply chain problems hampering some stores’ inventories, as well as fresh uncertainty caused by the newly discovered Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the holiday shopping season seems to be in good health, with the National Retail Federation expecting around 158.3 million in-person sales on Black Friday and at least 62.8 million online shoppers for Cyber Monday.
“We’re expecting another record-breaking holiday season this year and Thanksgiving weekend will play a major role as it always has,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said earlier in November.
Retail stocks recover on Cyber Monday optimism https://t.co/ThaVEndjxl
— TheStreet (@TheStreet) November 29, 2021
Interestingly, rather than harming their sales, the supply chain problems may have actually helped them along. Many shoppers showed up at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday, and even before then, in the hopes of obtaining their holiday purchases before inventories ran dry, and that enthusiasm seems to be carrying over to online sales.
“Black Friday stopped being a one-day event years ago, and this year some consumers started shopping for Christmas as early as Halloween,” Shay said.
Of course, while sales are still strong, stores are still running out of supplies. According to a CNBC report, the number of out-of-stock messages on various shopping sites were up by 124% compared to last year’s holiday shopping season. Sales and foot traffic are also still down compared to pre-pandemic levels, though they have made improvements since the relatively bare-bones in-person shopping season of 2020.