A Very COVID Christmas: The Pandemic’s Impact on Festive Spending
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The Pandemic’s Impact on Festive Spending
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From mass job losses to not seeing family and friends for months on end, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed people to their limits in 2020.
As an incredibly difficult year draws to a close, people are starting to accept that this festive season will be anything but typical. But while a portion of consumers have reined in their spending due to financial uncertainty, others are spreading Christmas cheer by indulging in gifts for their loved ones.
The graphic above from Raconteur explores how consumers’ festive spending in the U.S. and UK has changed as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
Will the shift trigger permanent changes in the retail industry?
Festive Budget Breakdown
According creative agency Kinetic, half of all UK adults surveyed believe this Christmas is more important than ever before, with that figure rising to three quarters for 18-34 year olds.
However, given consumers’ concerns over the future of the economy, they are expected to reduce spending during the festive season. In the U.S. for example, spending will decline by 7% to $1,387 per household.
When it comes to how consumers plan to spend their hard-earned cash, some interesting insights emerge. As many have saved significantly on socializing and travel—which is down 34% year-on-year—they plan to put this money towards items for themselves instead of gifts and gift cards for others. These items include clothes, at-home entertainment, and home furnishings.
It therefore comes as little surprise that the global online home decor market is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 13% between 2020-2024 with revenue of over $80 billion.
Dampening the Christmas Spirit?
Unsurprisingly, over half of all U.S. consumers are anxious about shopping in-store this holiday season. The vast majority have health and safety concerns, with 71% being the most worried about dealing with others who aren’t taking the virus seriously. This is closely followed by being around, or too close to others in stores.
Therefore, when it comes to physical shopping, people feel more comfortable in local stores or at outdoor markets and much less so in shopping malls.
Safety in Online Shopping
Considering this change in mindset, almost 60% of UK consumers said that they will be shopping online more this Christmas.
Here’s a closer look at how they plan to shop differently during the 2020 holiday season:
|Shopping In-store||Shopping Online|
But while ecommerce sales are expected to spike over Christmas, delivery speeds and shipping delays are also major concerns for consumers. As a result, many of them started their shopping much earlier this year to avoid disappointment. In fact, over half of all UK shoppers had started their Christmas shopping before November had even arrived.
Bidding Adieu to 2020
The end to a painful year for many can’t come soon enough. But boarded-up storefronts, and “for sale” signs serve as a harsh reminder of the fragility of the retail sector and its reliance on consumer sentiment.
Even as we march forward guided by the hope of an effective vaccine, the future of retail remains uncertain. For consumers, their confidence will build once more, but how they choose to spend their money following the festive season will be more important for businesses and the economy than ever before.
Visualizing the World’s Flower Bouquet Export Market
This graphic highlights global flower bouquet sales in 2021 and how a few countries dominate the entire flower export market.
Visualizing the World’s Flower Bouquet Export Market
For many, flower bouquets are the go-to gift choice when congratulating a colleague, visiting an ailing relative, or simply showing love and kindness to partners and friends.
And the global popularity of these carefully-arranged and vividly-colored bundles has led to the creation of a billion-dollar flower bouquet market. And demand for beautiful bouquets has kept growing, with global flower bouquet exports in 2021 reaching $11 billion—which is a 30.2% rise since 2017.
Louis Lugas Wicaksono uses data from World’s Top Exports to highlight the spread of this industry. In this image, he shows the flower bouquet exports across different countries in 2021.
Countries Trading the Most Flower Bouquets
Far at the top of the list and best known for their tulips, the Netherlands dominated the flower bouquet export industry in 2021.
|Rank||Country||Continent||Flower Bouquet Exports (2021 USD)|
|12||🇿🇦 South Africa||Africa||$70.4M|
|🌎 Rest of the world||$735.2M|
The small European nation exported $5.7 billion worth of bouquets in 2021, accounting for over half of global flower bouquet trade. This dominance comes from centuries of being the world’s largest producer of flowers and being a floral trade hub due to its advantageous location and connections with other growers, suppliers, and wholesalers.
Colombia and Ecuador fall next on this list with their exports totaling $1.7 billion and $927 million, respectively. Roses, carnations, and chrysanthemums are heavily exported from these South American nations.
On the other side of the Atlantic, cut rose flower exports were the leading drivers for Kenya and Ethiopia, earning these African nations $725 million and $254 million respectively.
Together, these five nations contributed to 85% of the world’s flower bouquet trade in 2021.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the flower bouquet export industry remained resilient. However, this was not an easy feat.
Many florists embraced new strategies like online sales and free home deliveries, and exporters dealt with global shipping slowdowns. Some countries including Columbia and Kenya focused on producing flowers with longer shelf lives that could be shipped further away.
As we continue to drift away from the pandemic and global trade eases up, we can expect this industry to blossom further.
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