Brands, retailers and consumers are preparing for major changes related to holiday celebrations, spending and gifting, according to “The 2020 Challenge: Keeping Spirits Bright This Holiday Season,” a new report by Advantage Sales, a division of Advantage Solutions.

Nearly nine in 10 Americans who celebrate one of the major winter holidays, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, said COVID-19 has impacted their holiday plans, according to the report, which is based on the responses of 1,027 adults. Participant responses were fielded between September 16 and September 22, 2020 by Advantage Sales’ SMARTeam.

Four in 10 say they will not travel, while 40% plan to attend smaller gatherings and 35% plan to attend fewer gatherings this holiday season.

Overall, Thanksgiving is projected to experience the steepest decline in participation, with a roughly 30-percentage-point drop. Thanksgiving, coupled with New Year’s Eve (27-point decrease), Christmas (23-point decrease) and Black Friday (18-point decrease), total the top four hardest-hit winter 2020 holidays.

Among the report’s other findings:

  • 42% of respondents plan to order more of their non-food groceries online compared to last year
  • 35% plan to order more of their food groceries online compared to last year
  • 40% will continue to shop in person at brick-and-mortar locations for last-minute grocery needs
  • 52%  stated they expect there to be shortages of some grocery item before the end of 2020
  • 33% say their gift-giving budgets will be smaller this year
  • 55% plan to shop for gifts at fewer brick-and-mortar stores
  • 52% plan to shop for gifts at more online stores
Download the Report