In September, BRG Retail published the results of our 2021 consumer holiday survey, wherein we asked over 1,000 shoppers about their holiday shopping expectations and level of concern over the impact of COVID on their holiday plans. Our decision to reach out to shoppers in August was driven in large part by an alarming trend in consumer sentiment.

After more than a year of battling the challenges of COVID-19, retail looked like it had turned a corner. Shopper enthusiasm had returned, and consumers were excited to shop in stores again. Retail sales were on the rise, and restaurants and bars saw sales spiking over 2020. Consumer spending on services was up, and there was reason for optimism.

But consumer sentiment reached a two-year low in August, with minimal recovery through October due to consumer concerns regarding inflation and the US economy. Will inflation and supply chain issues be the “Grinch” that steals Christmas?

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