The pandemic ushered in a big retail day that prompted shoppers to switch masses to sell online. Nearly 51% of shoppers are worried about shopping in stores during the holidays, and 64% of their budget is expected to be spent online, according to a survey published by Deloitte last month.
But experts say these changes are not one-off in nature and could introduce a more permanent transition. Here are some ways in which 2020 can serve as a turning point.
Health officials hope the epidemic of the past will be limited. Thanksgiving for the 24th consecutive day reported that the United States reported more than 100,000 new cases of coronavirus. The number of Covid-19 patients in U.S. hospitals reached a record on Day 17, with many medical centers warning them that they are close to their capacity.
Despite the epidemic, the National Retail Foundation forecasts that holiday sales will increase by 3.6% to 5.2% in November and December compared to 2019, for a total of $ 755.3 billion to $ 766.7 billion.
“Consumers have shown that they are excited about the holidays and are willing to spend on gifts that will lift the spirits of family and friends after such a challenging year,” said Matthew Shay, president of the NRF in a statement. “We look forward to a strong end to the holiday season and will continue to work with municipal and state officials to keep retailers open and the economy moving forward at this critical time.”
The other trade war: China slaps Australian wines
Tensions between Australia and China are growing again. The latest victim? Australian winemakers.
Background: China announced an anti-subsidy investigation in August following certain Australian wine imports following a complaint from the Chinese Wine Association. The Department of Commerce now claims to have confirmed cases of dumping, “causing material damage” to the domestic wine industry.
The effects of the new measures could be devastating. China is by far the largest importer of Australian wine, says Wine Australia, a trade organization backed by the country’s government.
Australia has annoyed China by calling for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus epidemic. Later, Beijing targeted Canberra for trade, namely by suspending certain imports of beef and hitting heavy tariffs on barley.
What follows: Australia and China have recently signed a major trade agreement – the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Some have suggested that the agreement could help the two countries rebuild relations, but they do not seem to be moving towards reconciliation.
Amazon pays bonuses to workers as unions put pressure
The move comes when the company faces a strike threat on Black Friday’s shopping weekend, CNN Business employee Hanna Ziady reports.
Overall, Amazon will spend $ 2.5 billion this year on teams ’global“ special bonuses and incentives, ”said Dave Clark, Amazon’s vice president of global operations. The latest incentive includes a $ 300 bonus for U.S. full-time employees and $ 150 for part-time employees.
“Our teams do an amazing job of serving the basic needs of our clients while helping to provide much-needed festive fun for socially distant families around the world,” Clark said.
Big Picture: Amazon is one of the few retailers to thrive amid the pandemic. The company expects revenues to exceed $ 100 billion in the fourth quarter for the first time, bringing total revenue to $ 370 billion in 2020 – one-third higher than last year. Equities jumped 72% in 2020.
But unions and advocacy groups are trying to use the shopping weekend to raise awareness of workers ’compensation and safety concerns, as well as Amazon’s environmental footprint.
In Germany, one of Amazon’s largest markets in Europe, the Verdi union is demanding a three-day strike at the company’s seven performance centers. The union wants Amazon to recognize a collective bargaining agreement that covers wages, bonuses and paid leisure.
U.S. stock markets close in early Friday.
Next week: Outgoing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve President Jerome Powell will testify before the U.S. Senate next week. Who will open their disagreements about supporting the ailing U.S. economy?