Los Angeles holiday shoppers will spend more than 60% more this year than in 2020, according to Deloitte's 2021 holiday retail survey. The average Los Angeles County resident will budget about $2,030 this year to spend on gifts, parties, and traveling - up from $1,256 in 2020. And, not surprisingly, now that a majority of the county has received their Covid-19 vaccinations, the largest portion of the money spent this year will be on visiting loved ones and partying the winter nights away with long-lost friends.
Shoppers in Los Angeles this year will be returning to in-person shopping, but in a limited capacity due to new habits developed during the pandemic that take advantage of the convenience of online shopping.
It is already evident, though, that more savvy shoppers who are concerned about delivery times and potential stock outs are starting their holiday purchases early - even before Thanksgiving. 68% of shoppers surveyed said they plan to start shopping before Thanksgiving while only 32% say they will begin after the traditional opening bell of Black Friday. Early shoppers should make sure to check in with stores' return policies, though. Some only take items back after a 30-day window.
The upcoming holiday season seems to be merry and bright for wealthier residents of Los Angeles County, but according to those surveyed, low-income shoppers will continue to save their money. The Deloitte 2021 report says, "High-income households are driving the uptick in holiday spend while lower-income households continue to struggle. Of those planning to skip shopping, 65% are from low-income households." So, pre-pandemic shopping rituals are back, but only for those who can afford it.
Retailers and small businesses around the Los Angeles area are looking forward to a better year than 2020. Gladys Hopkins, an owner of a small gift shop in Burbank says, "Last year was so tough. I'm lucky I made it through. I just hope people want to get back out there and shop this year." Hopkins relies on holiday shopping for almost one third of her store's annual revenue and hopes that her creative storefront decorations and her Instagram promotions will help boost her sales.
For Los Angeles County residents, it will be an important season for holiday shopping. Retailers all over the county are encouraging those who can afford to do so to shop like it's 2019. Their businesses and the future of the county's economy, might depend on it.