The biggest retail days of the year (at least traditionally) are fast approaching, and Americans will be stocking up on more home goods for the holidays during the pandemic.
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The number of Americans planning to shop during Black Friday and through Cyber Monday — the unofficial kickoff of the holiday shopping season — is slated to rise to 88% of consumers, up from 86% in 2019, according to new data from credit card and loan comparison website Finder.com.
Consumer spending is slated to jump $285 million from last year, despite the pandemic, with Americans estimated to shell out $148.5 billion this year, and an average of around $665 per shopper throughout the 2020 shopping season, according to Finder's Black Friday survey of 1,800 Americans.
And analysts say a second wave of COVID-19, and the approaching winter, will prompt consumers to invest more in household items, tech upgrades, and even extra gifts for loved ones they may not be able to see in person.
“We’re spending in a pandemic lifestyle mindset," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor and retail analyst for market research firm NPD group, to FOX Business. "We’re very focused on entertainment, work from home, school and a healthy lifestyle. If you’re a retailer and you categorize yourself into any of those — your home improvement, home décor, small appliances, toys, tech products, office supplies and sports equipment — you're going to see growth when you look at those tangible items."
Indeed, furniture is topping shopping lists this year, with Americans slated to spend $253 on average. Major appliances closely follow at $234, and electronics at an average of $223, according to statistics from Finder.com.
A number of retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Kohl’s have already kicked off Black Friday sales early. And Walmart on Thursday launches its deals earlier than expected, with plans to roll out three separate savings "days" throughout November, beginning with sales on toys, home products and electronics.
Cohen says there might be another motivator for increased discretionary spending: Parents may feel like they need to overcompensate around the holidays, to make up for missed graduations, proms and in-person learning. The analyst says grandparents, too, who are unable to see their grandkids, might be shelling out a little more.
“There’s going to be a lot of guilt-gifting," Cohen said. "Parents are going to try and spoil their kids – grandparents will be sending bigger better gifts this year they can open on the Zoom call."