Accenture Study Predicts Lower Holiday Retail Sales, More Digital Purchases

Accenture, based in Dublin with offices in Detroit, Livonia, Troy, and Ann Arbor, has announced the results of its annual U.S. Metro Holiday Retail Survey, which predicts trends and creates data driven insights about some of the issues global organizations face.
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Online holiday shopper
A survey by Accenture found that shoppers in metro Detroit expect to spend 14 percent less on holiday shopping this year // Stock photo

Accenture, based in Dublin with offices in Detroit, Livonia, Troy, and Ann Arbor, has announced the results of its annual U.S. Metro Holiday Retail Survey, which predicts trends and creates data driven insights about some of the issues global organizations face.

The survey, which polled 8,194 respondents across 17 U.S. cities, found that Detroit shoppers are expected to spend $562 on average this year in comparison to $654 last year – a 14 percent decrease. Other cities also will experience decreases such as Chicago (-6 percent), Washington D.C. (-14 percent), and New York City (-15 percent).

With economic and health care uncertainty ongoing, overall holiday spending is expected to be lower across all U.S. cities, with the 2020 average at $539 compared to $637 in 2019.

Detroit shoppers plan to spend a little more than the national average this year.

Additionally, the study found that 78 percent of Detroit residents will be choosing to do their holiday shopping online rather than shop in person, causing in-store shopping to be down 17 percent from last year.

Also, about half of consumers will shop exclusively online to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to essential retail workers. New York and Washington D.C. are expected to have some of the highest percentages of its residents shop online at 82 percent and 81 percent, respectively, while Chicago is expected to have the lowest percentage of its residents shop online at 73 percent.

Across the nation, 75 percent of shoppers plan to shop online, while 56 percent plan to shop in-store.

Many people will also use their buying power to support minority-owned businesses this holiday season. For example, in Detroit 38 percent of survey respondents plan to shop from minority-owned businesses (the national average was 40 percent).

About 59 percent of Detroit shoppers also plan on showing their love for local businesses to help and contribute to the local economy, according to the study. Nationally, the number was 57 percent.

Several large retailers have already announced their plans to be closed on both Black Friday and Thanksgiving this year. In Detroit, according to the study, about 62 percent of shoppers admitted to feeling less inclined to shop on Black Friday than in previous years, followed by 60 percent on Thanksgiving day/night, and 52 percent on Cyber Monday.

Additionally, New York had a record high of 72 percent of its shoppers admit to feeling less inclined to shop this Thanksgiving. Nationally, these numbers were 65 percent, 64 percent, and 59 percent.

The idea of socially distanced gift giving isn’t so out of the park this holiday season, with 47 percent of Detroit residents saying they will opt to ship gifts directly to their recipients, followed by Chicago at 52 percent, New York at 63 percent, and Washington, D.C. topping the list out at 64 percent.

The study also shows that 64 percent of Detroit shoppers plan on spending quality time at home with loved ones, compared to 63 nationally, spending money on little luxuries for themselves (51 percent, the same as the national average), and even beginning home improvement projects (34 percent, just below the national average of 36 percent).

 

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