US Holiday Shopping 2021

Brick-and-Mortar ‘Revenge Shopping’ and Ongoing Ecommerce Gains Will Deliver a Holiday Gift to Retailers

Executive Summary

Heading into the 2021 holiday season, consumer spending strength across channels will put brands and retailers on their strongest footing in years—if they can keep inventory in stock and costs in check.

How much will be spent during the 2021 holiday season?

We forecast total US retail sales will rise 9.0% to $1.147 trillion. US brick-and-mortar retail will surge 7.9% to $935.79 billion, while US retail ecommerce sales will climb 14.4% to $211.66 billion. We expect ecommerce to account for 18.4% of total retail sales.

What are the biggest factors affecting our 2021 holiday forecast?

Our forecast factors in ongoing strength in the consumer economy despite the resurgence of COVID-19 from the delta variant. Low unemployment, rising wages, a booming stock market, and government stimulus are all contributing to robust spending patterns, the effects of which will outweigh concerns around inflation and supply chain issues.

What will ecommerce sales be on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday will once again be the biggest online spending day in US history at $12.12 billion, up 12.4% from last year. Black Friday is expected to be the second biggest day of the season with sales increasing by 15.8% to $10.42 billion, while Thanksgiving will come in at No. 3 with a 20.7% jump to $6.10 billion.

Which retailers will be this holiday season’s winners?

Amazon will dominate holiday ecommerce once again, though omnichannel leaders Walmart, Target, and Best Buy are also positioned for success. Apparel and department store retailers will benefit from a pandemic rebound.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? Our forecast for US holiday season spending for retail, ecommerce, and key shopping days and analysis of consumer, category, and retailer expectations for the season.

KEY STAT: Cyber Monday and Black Friday will each surpass $10 billion in US ecommerce sales this year.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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    Table of Contents

    1. Executive Summary
    2. Historic Holiday Opportunity: Huge 2021 Growth Expected
    3. Key Shopping Days and Consumer Behaviors
    4. Disruptive Forces Dictate Consumer Spending Outlook
    1. Winners and Losers: Product Categories and Retailers
    2. Holiday Digital Marketing Strategies for Success
    3. Key Takeaways
    4. Insider Intelligence Interviews
    1. Read Next
    2. Sources
    3. Media Gallery

    Interviewed for This Report

    Nikki Baird
    Vice President, Retail Innovation
    Interviewed August 30, 2021
    Don Brett
    NBG Home
    Global Chief Digital Commerce Officer
    Interviewed August 13, 2021
    Rob Garf
    Vice President and General Manager, Retail
    Interviewed August 16, 2021
    Taylor Holiday
    Common Thread Collective
    Managing Partner
    Interviewed August 18, 2021
    Satish Jindel
    Interviewed August 31, 2021
    Melissa Minkow
    Retail Industry Lead
    Interviewed August 16, 2021
    Dani Nadel
    President and COO
    Interviewed August 11, 2021
    Tim Rogers
    Senior Vice President and Global General Manager, Omnichannel and CRM
    Interviewed September 14, 2021
    Taylor Schreiner
    Director, Adobe Digital Insights
    Interviewed August 13, 2021

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    Andrew Lipsman


    Bianca Carasus
    Suzy Davidkhanian
    Principal Analyst, Retail & Ecommerce
    Blake Droesch
    Junior Analyst
    Cindy Liu
    Senior Forecasting Analyst

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