Sensormatic Solutions predicts that in-store shopping in the typical six-week holiday shopping period will be down between 22% and 25% compared to last year, the company said in a new report.
Sensormatic Solutions' annual ShopperTrak list projects that Black Friday, Super Saturday and the day after Christmas will be the busiest shopping days this year in the U.S.
The top 10 busiest days in 2020 will account for 34.2% of all holiday traffic, down from 46.5% last year, per the company's research.
Bjoern Petersen, president at Sensormatic Solutions, pointed to the increased in-store traffic from earlier this year as a sign that the holidays might be better than expected.
In a statement, Petersen said traffic was down 82% in April but has since improved to down 25.7% for the week ending Sept. 19. As experts told Retail Dive in August, summer holiday shopping patterns could have indicated how retailers needed to prepare for the fourth quarter, particularly with buy online, pick up in-store.
"Now is the time for retailers to strengthen their buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup services, which are expected to grow in popularity this year," Petersen 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."
Industry experts and retailers are already preparing for the demands of this year's unusual holiday season. Earlier this month, the National Retail Federation encouraged consumers to shop safely with its "New Holiday Traditions" campaign. Meanwhile, retailers like Target and Walmart are increasing their staff to brace for the greater omnichannel and digital demand.