Retail Association of Nevada: Holiday sales likely to decline this season
CARSON CITY, Nev. — The Retail Association of Nevada is projecting sales at brick-and-mortar locations for the 2020 holiday season will decline between 3 percent and 8 percent compared to last year, though online sales are expected to help fill in the gap.
Not surprisingly, according to a Nov. 25 press release detailing RAN’s projections, ongoing and evolving COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainty about the state’s short-term economic outlook are key reasons why an in-person shopping decline is expected.
According to RAN, total non-store retail sales for January through August across the state (the latest data available as of this writing) totaled $2.7 billion, up 143.9 percent compared to the same period in 2019. During the same timeframe, non-store retail sales grew from 7.9 percent of consumer sales to 18.3 percent of sales.
“We’re seeing indications that Nevada consumers are feeling the financial effects of the pandemic more than the national average and are beginning to tighten their household budgets,” Bryan Wachter, Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs of RAN, said in a statement. “With Nevada being second in the nation for unemployment, we are not expecting that holiday sales in Nevada will be setting any records, and in fact, we might even see numbers decline this year in Nevada.”
According to a recent national survey by Deloitte, 57 percent of consumers feel anxious about in-store shopping this holiday season. Deloitte also noted that 74 percent of consumers planned to shop online to avoid crowds, up from 62 percent last year.
According to previous reports, holiday sales across America are projected to uptick between 1 percent and 1.5 percent, which would result in up to $1.2 trillion in retail sales during the November-to-January timeframe.
Meanwhile, according to the Nov, 25 press release from RAN, retail sales for the holiday season in the U.S. are projected to total between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion, a year-over-year increase of between 3.6 percent and 5.2 percent, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
Based on a separate survey conducted in October, per-consumer holiday spending is projected to drop 4.8 percent to $997.79, according to the NRF. The largest spending category is expected to be gifts with an average of $650.47 (down 1.2 percent), followed by food at $230.01 (up 1.2 percent) and non-gift holiday items such as decorations at $117.31 (down 27.6 percent).
“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the safety protocols that come with it, online shopping is expected to continue to grow in popularity,” according to RAN.
According to Adobe Digital Insights, online sales in the U.S. this holiday shopping season are projected to reach a record $189.0 billion, a 33 percent increase from the $142.5 billion a year ago.
From a national standpoint, research shows the embrace of digital commerce is a whole decade ahead of schedule thanks to the pandemic. We spoke with the Retail Association of Nevada, Downtown Reno Partnership and the Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce to give local context to the growth of online retail.