Omicron fears could shift holiday spending to retail products, NRF says – .

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Omicron fears could shift holiday spending to retail products, NRF says – .


As Americans shopped for gifts over Thanksgiving shopping weekend, the discovery of the omicron variant grabbed the headlines and prompted public health officials to take action.
National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay said on Tuesday that the Covid-19 variant could disrupt spending habits this holiday season and spend more dollars on electronics, toys, clothing and more. other items instead of vacations and movie tickets.

“We know, unfortunately, that when the variants had a real impact on the economy, the goods side of the economy actually benefited because people change their behavior away from the experience side of the economy and spend more. time and more money spent on the goods side of the economy, ”he said on a call with reporters.

Holiday sales are expected to hit an all-time high of between $ 843.4 billion and $ 859 billion in sales in November and December, representing growth of 8.5% to 10.5% this year, according to the National Retail Federation. The trade group reiterated its optimistic forecast for the holiday season on Tuesday.

Experience-based giveaways – such as travel vouchers, restaurant gift cards, and spa days – are set to make a comeback this year as more Americans feel comfortable going out. again.

About 43% of consumers said they plan to splurge on service experiences and giveaways this holiday season, according to a survey of around 1,500 U.S. consumers in August by consulting firm Accenture. The trend was more pronounced among the younger generations, with 53% of Millennials and 50% of Gen Z saying they plan to spend on experiences, according to the survey.

Shay said the trade group is confident about consumers’ appetite to spend, despite the new variant. He said the backdrop for the pandemic was very different this holiday season as more Americans are fully vaccinated.

“We think there is a reason to be aware, a reason to follow the types of protocols that we have followed from the beginning regarding safe practices and vaccination, but there is no reason to panic.” , did he declare.

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