Welcome to The Backroom, your window into what goes on behind the scenes as the Retail Dive team covers the stories and trends reshaping retail. You can check out all our podcast episodes (past and present) here and listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and Spotify.
The retail calendar has been painted with enormous uncertainty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Retail Dive has tracked 27 major retailers that filed for bankruptcy this year, with many others inching closer to the brink, making the all-important holiday season even more make or break than usual.
Retailers have introduced measures to protect their fourth quarter sales, from implementing enhanced safety measures and launching store fulfillment options like BOPIS and curbside pickup, to bringing demand into October and elongating the season. Amazon, which generally holds its annual Prime Day sales event in July, moved it to October, causing other major retailers to follow suit in kicking off holiday deals.
Several firms have taken a cautious approach to their holiday sales projections given the unpredictable nature of this year. The ICSC predicted spending would rise 1.9%, while CBRE pegged it at less than 2% growth. Deloitte released a "K-shaped" prediction for the season: In one instance, growth would reach 0% to 1%, while in the other scenario, sales could rise up to 3.5%.
On this episode of The Backroom, Daphne Howland and Ben Unglesbee take a look at the biggest trends shaping the industry this season, uncertainty and all.