The country’s malls and stores will be less crowded this holiday season. In-store traffic for the six weeks of the holiday season is expected to be down 22% to 25% year-over-year, according to ShopperTrak’s annual holiday forecast. The report also predicts that the 10 busiest days (listed below) of the holiday season, will account for 34.2% of all holiday traffic as compared to 46.5% in 2019.
As a result, the typical holiday traffic peaks will flatten, with more days sharing importance throughout the season.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve noticed a shift toward weekday shopping as consumers take advantage of the new remote work reality while also consciously avoiding the historically-large weekend crowds,” said Bjoern Petersen, president at Sensormatic Solutions. “We expect this trend to continue into the holiday season.”
Petersen added that the outlook for this year’s holiday season remains positive, considering traffic was down as low as 82% in April and has since improved to 25.7% for week ending September 19.”
“Now is the time for retailers to strengthen their buy online pickup in-store and curbside pickup services, which are expected to grow in popularity this year,” he said. “It’s also crucial to provide a safe in-store environment where shoppers feel comfortable through offerings such as contactless checkout and real-time occupancy monitoring to adhere with social distancing guidelines.”
The full list of predicted busiest in-store shopping days in the US is as follows:
- Friday, November 27 – Black Friday
- Saturday, December 19 – Super Saturday
- Saturday, December 26 – Day after Christmas, aka “Boxing Day,” in some global regions
- Wednesday, December 23 – Wednesday before Christmas
- Saturday, December 12 – Second Saturday in December
- Monday, December 21 – Monday before Christmas
- Saturday, November 28 – Saturday after Thanksgiving
- Tuesday, December 22 – Tuesday before Christmas
- Saturday, December 5 – First Saturday in December
- Sunday, December 20 – Sunday before Christmas… Chain Store Age