Clothing Stores and Food Services Fall Behind in Uneven Retail Recovery

By Staff
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 4:35 PM Despite the expiration of the weekly supplement to unemployment benefits at the end of July, U.S. consumer spending continued to bounce back in August, albeit at a slower pace than before, according to a recent feature from Statista.com. According to preliminary estimates published by the U.S. Census Bureau last week, seasonally adjusted retail and food services sales amounted to $537.5 billion last month, up more than 30 percent from its April low and 2.5 percent from the same period last year.

While the ongoing bounce back in consumer spending is certainly encouraging, it needs to be noted that the recovery has been uneven and that spending levels are still below pre-crisis levels for many retailers. 

As the following chart shows, clothing and accessories stores have been badly impacted by the pandemic, with sales in the three months ended August 2020 more than 20 percent below the same period of 2019. The same is true for food services and drinking places, which saw spending levels 19 percent off last year’s total and department stores, which trailed last year’s sales for the months of June, July and August by 16 percent.

Click here to read the full story from Statista.com.

About Half of Americans Say Their Lives Will Remain Changed in Major Ways When the Pandemic Is Over

By Staff
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 2:01 PM After roughly six months of living amid a pandemic, many Americans expect their lives to remain changed even after the COVID-19 outbreak is over, according to an August Pew Research Center survey of 13,200 Americans. About half of U.S. adults (51 percent) say they expect their lives will remain changed in major ways after the pandemic is over, while about the same share (48 percent) expect a return to normalcy.

It has also affected where some Americans live: In a June survey, around one-in-five U.S. adults (22 percent) said they either changed their residence due to the outbreak or know someone else who did. And as of July, a majority of adults under 30 are living with their parents for the first time on record, Census Bureau data shows.

Large shares of Americans across most major demographic groups say their lives will remain changed after the pandemic, according to the August survey. Even so, there are some notable differences.

Roughly two-thirds of Black adults (64 percent) say their lives will remain changed in major ways after the pandemic is over. That compares with 56 percent of Asian adults, 53 percent of Hispanic adults and 48 percent of White adults.

Click here to read the full story from Pew Research Center. 

Tracking the Incidence of Myopia in Children

By Staff
Monday, September 21, 2020 5:04 PM Two-thirds of eyecare professionals in the U.S. say the incidence of myopia among children in their practices has increased over the past 5 to 10 years and 81 percent of those practitioners recognize it as one of the biggest problems impacting children’s eyesight today, according to a 2019 study published in the American Academy of Optometry’s journal, Optometry and Vision Science. The study was recently cited by CooperVision when it announced Sarah Michelle Gellar, the popular US television actress, producer and entrepreneur as the spokesperson for its Brilliant Futures Myopia Management Program.

Consumers Anticipate New Ways to Celebrate Halloween, Despite COVID-19

By Staff
Thursday, September 17, 2020 2:57 PM WASHINGTON—Like many holidays this year, Americans are planning to celebrate Halloween despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The autumnal holiday may look a little different this year, but consumers are finding ways to safely mark the occasion. 

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, more than 148 million U.S. adults plan to participate in Halloween-related activities. Among those celebrants, safe at-home activities ranked highest: 53 percent plan to decorate their homes, 46 percent plan to carve a pumpkin and 18 percent will dress up their pet.

More than three-quarters say the virus is impacting their celebration plans, with overall participation down to 58 percent. Plans for parties, trick-or-treating, handing out candy and visiting haunted houses have all dropped, due largely to the fact that some activities do not easily adhere to social distancing. Even so, 17 percent say they plan to celebrate virtually.

Consumer spending is expected to reach $8.05 billion, down slightly from $8.78 billion in 2019, due to the drop in participation. However, consumers are spending more on the activities that will ensure a memorable holiday. Those who are celebrating plan to spend $92.12 on average compared with $86.27 in 2019. Consumers are doing what they can to still make it a special event by spending a little more on home decorations, candy and greeting cards. 

Click here to read the full story from the NRF. 

Pandemic Sends Zoom's Revenue Skyrocketing

By Staff
Monday, September 14, 2020 4:24 PM One of the most immediate and profound effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was the shape rise in teleconferencing throughout the world for both business and personal use.

Statista’s Felix Richter notes that despite security concerns and reports of possible links to China, Zoom Video Communications has to be considered one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic. “As much of the world has been working from home and relying on technology to stay in touch with colleagues and loved ones amid strict stay-at-home orders, video conferencing apps saw an unprecedented surge in usage…”

Across Retail, Essential Goods and Personal Care Products See Growth

By Staff
Friday, September 11, 2020 4:58 PM NEW YORK—From the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, consumers across the U.S. have shifted to ecommerce for essential goods and personal care products. One result of this trend is that consumer packaged goods companies (CPG) continue to invest in digital advertising, but at a reduced rate, according to a recent analysis of the CPG sector by eMarketer.

The firm now said it expects the CPG industry to increase its digital ad spending 5.2 percent this year to $19.4 billion. But this is a downward revision from the pre-pandemic forecast of 15.1 percent growth.

The CPG vertical spans multiple subcategories. Some subcategories like essential goods and personal care products did well amid the pandemic, while others faltered. According to a March 2020 survey conducted by OnePoll for tech firm Red Points, more than three in five U.S. internet users said they were more likely to purchase cosmetics, personal care products, and food and beverage products online during the pandemic, according to the eMarketer report.

Across the spectrum of U.S. retail sales, a decline of roughly 10.5 percent is expected this year across all retail channels, yet overall sales of health, personal care, and beauty products will rise 6.9 percent. Food and beverage sales (much of which fall under CPG) will grow 12.5 percent, according to a recent eMarketer forecast.

Food and beverage ecommerce sales will grow 58.5 percent this year to $41.5 billion. Health, personal care, and beauty product sales will increase 32.4 percent to $72.1 billion, the research firm noted. While these categories make up a fraction of total ecommerce sales (a combined 16.7 percent), they continue to be the fastest-growing, as they have been since 2018.

The Pandemic Accelerates the Pace of B2B Ecommerce, Survey Says

By Staff
Thursday, September 10, 2020 5:24 PM The current coronavirus pandemic is making future business planning difficult at best for many companies. Many traditional purchasing channels, such as distributor branches, shut down as a result of the pandemic, but one channel remained open: digital commerce. Organizations of all sizes are expanding the pace and diversity of their B2B digital commerce activity, according to a new survey of about 85 purchasing executives conducted in July and August 2021 by Digital Commerce 360 B2B.

Today 51 percent of all companies purchase at least 50 percent of their goods and services online, according to a new DC 360 B2B survey. The survey also shows that about 40 percent of all businesses now make at least one digital purchase weekly or multiple times each week.

Click here to read the full story from DigitalCommerce360.com.

A Majority of Young Adults in the U.S. Live With Their Parents for the First Time Since the Great Depression

By Staff
Wednesday, September 9, 2020 4:24 PM The coronavirus outbreak has pushed millions of Americans, especially young adults, to move in with family members. The share of 18- to 29-year-olds living with their parents has become a majority since U.S. coronavirus cases began spreading early this year, surpassing the previous peak during the Great Depression era.

In July, 52 percent of young adults resided with one or both of their parents, up from 47 percent in February, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of monthly Census Bureau data. The number living with parents grew to 26.6 million, an increase of 2.6 million from February. The number and share of young adults living with their parents grew across the board for all major racial and ethnic groups, men and women, and metropolitan and rural residents, as well as in all four main census regions. Growth was sharpest for the youngest adults (ages 18 to 24) and for White young adults.

The share of young adults living with their parents is higher than in any previous measurement (based on current surveys and decennial censuses). Before 2020, the highest measured value was in the 1940 census at the end of the Great Depression, when 48 percent of young adults lived with their parents. The peak may have been higher during the worst of the Great Depression in the 1930s, but there is no data for that period.

Click here to read the full story from Pew Research Center.

Cars With Embedded Connectivity To Reach 200 Million By 2025, With 5G Adoption Set To Soar

By Staff
Thursday, September 3, 2020 11:00 PM A new study from Juniper Research has found that the number of vehicles with embedded connectivity will reach 200 million globally by 2025; rising from 110 million in 2020. One of the main beneficiaries of this growth will be mobile operators. The incorporation of eSIMs (embedded SIM) into the vehicle will enable operators to leverage their existing network infrastructure to claim $3 billion of additional service revenue by 2025, by acting as an M2M (Machine-to-Machine) connectivity provider.

Women In Optometry Poll: Farewell, Maybe Forever, to Shaking Patients’ Hands

By Staff
Thursday, September 3, 2020 3:33 PM Shaking patients’ hands may become a fad from the past after the COVID-19, says many respondents to a recent Women In Optometry Pop-Up Poll, which asked readers to access the lasting impact from the pandemic. Indeed, 59 percent said that they may never shake patients’ hands again. Some safety precautions may stay for the long haul, as well, with 57 percent saying that they may never ease back on disinfecting protocols, and 51 percent stating that they may never remove acrylic shields that they have installed in their offices.

More than a third of respondents have stopped wearing face shields (37 percent), returned to pre-COVID exam schedules (34 percent) and returned to pre-COVID workwear (36 percent). Yet 38 percent said they may never return to their pre-COVID workwear. Fifty-six percent said that they anticipate wearing masks for at least another six to 12 months.

On a scale from 1 (not very safe/protected) to 5 (extremely safe/protected), respondents were asked to rate how they feel at work now in terms of potential exposure to COVID-19, and many cited that they do feel quite safe at work: 23 percent rated 5, 47 percent rated 4 and 25 percent cited 3. Just 5 percent cited 2, and no one selected 1.

Click here to read the full story from Women In Optometry.

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Consumers’ Attitudes Toward Sustainability

By Staff
Monday, August 31, 2020 2:00 PM A substantial proportion of U.S. consumers have become more focused on sustainability in their shopping journey due to Covid-19, according to a new survey by Coresight Research. For the survey, which was conducted August 26, Coresight asked consumers about their attitudes toward environmental sustainability in retail, including any impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. They found that 29 percent of respondents said the pandemic has made environmental sustainability more of a factor when shopping.

The Products Growing Online Sales Fastest

By Staff
Thursday, August 27, 2020 12:35 PM Products traditionally associated with e-commerce are still among the fastest growing segments in global online sales, but other product categories are also moving online in rapid speed. According to the Statista Consumer Market Outlook, online sales of consumer electronics and apparel were still growing fast as a share of total sales. Around every fifth household appliance is also already bought online according to the data and that share is expected to grow to 31 percent by 2023.

Eyewear, which currently only has an online sales share in the single digits, is projected to catch up with more established categories by 2023, more than doubling online sales within the segment in six years. OTC pharmaceuticals, also a newer market for e-commerce, is expected to grow online sales almost as fast.

Click here to read the full story from Statista.com. 

Retail Sales Figures for July Show Consumers Spent Less Than Expected

By Staff
Wednesday, August 26, 2020 2:35 PM Consumers spent less than expected in July as a pullback in auto sales helped cool an economy struggling to shake off the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Retail sales rose 1.2 percent for the month, against the expected increase of 2.3 percent from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. 

The news wasn’t all a letdown, however—excluding autos, the gain was 1.9 percent, ahead of the 1.2 percent estimate. A separate report also showed that worker productivity rose at its fastest pace in 11 years, up 7.3 percent annualized for the second quarter and well ahead of the 1.5 percent Reuters estimate.

Overall, it was the third straight monthly increase. The 1.2 percent increase follows an 8.4 percent month-over-month increase in June. Retail sales have been climbing after a record monthly drop while most stores were closed in April.

Read the full story at CNBC.com.

Facing Indoor Dining Restrictions, More Consumers Favor Food Delivery Apps

By Staff
Monday, August 24, 2020 1:23 PM As the restaurant industry faces continued operational challenges and indoor dining constraints loom across the country, many consumers are turning to food delivery apps, according to eMarketer, which estimates that the number of smartphone food delivery app users will rise 25.2 percent to 45.6 million this year.

eMarketer’s Rimma Kats reports that this figure is expected to decrease slightly in 2021, to 44.1 million, as restaurants likely reopen to indoor diners.

B2B Digital Advertising Spend Soars 22.6 Percent in U.S. Market, According to eMarketer

By Staff
Friday, August 21, 2020 2:04 PM NEW YORK—In what a research firm calls “an unlikely development, B2B digital advertising spend is leading a recovery charge in 2020, with projected growth of 22.6 percent over last year, according to a recent forecast by the firm eMarketer. “The disappearance of in-person events, and a pause in the use of traditional tactics, has led to significant digital growth – especially in the health care, tech and financial services categories,” the eMarketer forecast noted.

Business-to-business marketers, often criticized for being laggards, have sprinted ahead when it comes to digital ad spend, The Drum newsletter reported.

According to eMarketer, B2B digital ad spend will hit $8.14 billion this year, an increase of 22.6 percent. Comparatively, U.S. digital advertising spend, as a whole, will only rise 1.7 percent this year, to $134.7 billion.

Long reliant on events and traditional channels, “the conditions of Covid-19 are really forcing B2B marketers to realize that they need to accelerate their transformation into digital,” Jillian Ryan, eMarketer’s principal analyst covering B2B and marketing transformation at Insider Intelligence, said in the forecast.

Search, virtual event sponsorships, podcasts and spending on LinkedIn are replacing TV, print, out-of-home and in-person events, Ryan said. In fact, LinkedIn will secure one-fifth of all B2B ad dollars in 2020. “They are the supreme social network in terms of share.”