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Holiday Bites: US Retail Traffic in November 2020: Year-over-Year % Change

  • Brick-and-mortar retail continues to see severely reduced shopper visits amid the pandemic. Although we saw an improving traffic trend over the first three weeks of November, we saw a deeper decline of 41.3% in the fourth week, which included Black Friday weekend.
  • The deep decline was in the context of sustained high levels of Covid-19 infection and hospitalizations, suggested restrictions on holiday travel and further potential restrictions in some states.
  • Home retailers consistently saw less severe declines in traffic through the month than apparel, footwear and jewelry retailers.
  • We are on course for a digital December as physical store traffic remains deeply negative and online demand is highly elevated. We expect digital sales across nonfood retail to rise in the low-30s-percent range, totaling $220 billion, or 27.6% of all nonfood retail sales, in the holiday quarter. We continue to expect an approximate one-third (33.5%) rise in total holiday-quarter online retail sales.