NPD: Preparing for the Seismic September Shift

Traditionally, there has been a lull in discretionary retail sales in September – on the heels of summer spending on seasonal merchandise and back-to-school preparations and ahead of the holiday ramp-up. But 2021 is far from a traditional year, since this retail respite is one of the trends that was disrupted in 2020 while the pandemic raged. Consumers appear to be increasingly willing and able to go out and get spending again.

August 10, 2021 – NPD Group – It’s very possible we will see a dramatic – even seismic – shift in September 2021 retail performance, as the following aspects of reopening and reemergence converge, along with many other factors that will have an effect on the consumer and retail overall: 

Back to school – The new school year is slated to bring kids back in-person, after more than a year of restrictions and uncertainty. The excitement surrounding this return to normalcy will make for a big back-to-school shopping season. 

Return to offices – More offices are preparing to bring employees back from virtual work. Hybrid-work models, as well as office workspace changes and concerns will bring new needs – and additional spending. 

Pandemic restrictions lift – As restrictions continue to be lifted across the country, consumers are returning to the experiences they have been missing. Their spending will reflect that return, whether it is redirected to the experiences themselves, or to products that complement their participation in the activities.   

Of course, as we watch the latest unsettling news about the spike in Delta variant COVID cases, it’s clear that the pandemic is far from over. Rising cases could once again cause schools to close, and businesses could hold off on bringing employees back to the office, which could again impede sales of all types of products. 

Read more at NPD Group.