For many of you, this Christmas will be the defining moment this year.
There are some big positives this year:
1) Our vaccination rates are rapidly growing. Based on current rates, if it keeps up, we should be able to achieve 80% earlier than Christmas. This is much better than anyone thought possible, even a month ago.
2) The other big plus is the public has plenty of money. For Christmas, people will spend so some of that money should come out.
The big negatives are:
1) The new COVID variants are less lethal but more contagious. The big concern here is delta. Still, we are losing control of the situation. Despite stricter lockdowns, COVID is up. It will not disappear. It will mutate, just like the flu does every couple of years. Everyone who wants a vaccine will get it, and the rest will end up with their immunity after fighting the disease. We have to open up, and somewhere between 70% to 80% is the agreed point. That will be earlier than Christmas.
Still, this is something you need to consider for your shop. If I were in a shopping centre or a strip shop, my thoughts would be very different about the possible effects of more lockdowns on my business. Also, is my industry is classed as essential or not?
2) The supply situation. All stages of the delivery network are now reporting problems. Delays and shortages are everywhere. The public is aware of this, so we can expect that consumers fearing product availability and delivery delays will start to buy early.
Currently, most forecasts are for higher holiday retail sales than last year.
This is why I am saying that it is time to think about Christmas.
Don’t let this Christmas be a retail nonevent for your business!