Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Each week, Cut the Crap Investing founder Dale Roberts shares financial headlines and offers context for Canadian investors.

The pandemic holiday season is near

This will be our first “global pandemic holiday season.”

That phrase does not have a nice festive ring to it, I know. And it might not be full of good cheer. As per what has become the most used pandemic phrase for my wife and me: ”It is what it is.” The holiday season is coming, and the pandemic ain’t going away.

Still, North Americans are sure to shop. But how will they shop? Will Canadians and Americans finally fill the malls again? Or will we stay at home and use that iPad and Amazon to cross everything off that holiday list?

Deloitte has conducted their 35th holiday shopping survey in an attempt to discover how this season might shape up. We can look to the U.S. study and see many of these behaviours translate to Canada. After all, share many of the same attitudes and fears as our American neighbour, and both countries are experiencing that second wave of the pandemic.

The U.S. 2020 Deloitte holiday retail survey shows that four types or segments of shoppers spend between $1,000 and $1,600 US each in the holiday season. Survey respondents offered that they expect to spend 7% less in the pandemic holiday season. And 38% of respondents intend to spend less this year. That’s a level of decline not seen since the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.

From the Deloitte Canadian study:

“… one in three (35%) plan to cut back on their holiday spending, especially on travel and dining out, but expect to spend more on groceries and cannabis. Overall, Canadians plan to spend an average of $1,405 over the holidays, compared to $1,706 in 2019.”