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The impact of the pandemic on shopping trends

The National Retail Federation forecasts holiday sales could generate between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion. During an unprecedented holiday season, what are the buying patterns of all those shoppers? How has the pandemic impacted what customers are looking for?
Posted at 6:37 PM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 19:53:50-05

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia. (KMTV) - Hy-Vee District Store Director Mitch Streit says the pandemic caused a huge shift in buying patterns.

"Shopping styles, time of day, what customers are buying, how we can serve them differently in the past, it's been quite an adjustment in a short period," Streit said.

One of the biggest adjustments Streit noticed is that more people are hitting the kitchen this holiday season. There's a bigger demand for baking supplies like ladles, mixers and spoons.

"More people cooking at home - I think that's going to stay," Streit said. "I do think people are going to entertain more in the future and get better at that as they move forward."

Nancy Schomburg owns a gift shop called "The Olive Branch." She notices customers are buying indoor holiday decorations earlier than ever.

"Usually we decorate our store towards the end of October, this year, we did it towards the beginning of October," Schomburg said.

Based on their buying patterns Schomburg believes customers are looking for inspiration.

"We have a lot to worry about right now, anything they can bring that's a little brighter in their homes and their lives, the better," Schomburg said.

Hy-Vee has seen huge growth in online shopping and expects that won't go away. Streit says customers will order groceries for pick-up on the way home but they still crave the shopping experience.

"I think there's going to be an evolution in our retail to match where shoppers want to go," Streit said.