Publications

- November 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 10

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Will holiday sales save the retail industry?

by Andrea Zander

Consumers’ shift to ecommerce and online spending has strongly affected the retail sector. And then COVID-19 hit, accelerating pre-existing trends. Retailers have confirmed at least 7,500 U.S. store closings for 2020. As of October, retailers had announced plans to close more than 130 million square feet of store space this year, according to CoStar. More than half of the space is accounted for by the closures of retailers J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Stein Mart, Bed Bath & Beyond and Pier 1 Imports.

And now the holiday season is upon us, with the shopping that comes along with it. With consumer confidence growing — the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Survey increased to a reading of 101.8 in September, up from 86.3 in August — will the upcoming holiday sales give some relief to retailers?

“Consumer confidence increased sharply in September, after back-to-back monthly declines, but remains below pre-pandemic levels,” says Lynn Franco, senior director o

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