Insight

Merry and bright: Retail executives are hopeful for the 2021 holiday season

Holiday shopping report – Retail executive outlook I September 2021

Matt Kramer

Matt Kramer

National Sector Leader, Consumer & Retail, KPMG LLP

+1 614-241-4666

Scott Rankin

Scott Rankin

National Advisory Leader, Consumer & Retail, KPMG LLP

+1 617-988-1474

Julia Wilson

Julia Wilson

Managing Director, Deal Advisory, KPMG US

+1 404-222-3511

In August 2021, KPMG surveyed more than 100 retail executives (decision makers vice president level and above, at companies with over $500 million in revenues) on their expectations for the 2021 holiday shopping season.

Increased sales expectations amid supply concerns

Holiday sales are anticipated to represent an average of 35 percent of surveyed companies’ total annual sales. Retailers are expecting strong sales during this seasonal period compared to 2020. KPMG expects sales growth will climb 7 percent higher (year over year) compared to annual historical growth, which tends to run 3 to 4 percent. Yet, 82 percent of executives surveyed also acknowledge that they are either “somewhat” or “very concerned” about inventory shortages. 

 

Supply chain concerns

 

Level of concern for stock outs/inventory issues


 

Portion of retails sales during holiday season

 

Alternate sourcing strategies

 

Online shopping projected to accelerate

Retailers surveyed predict e-commerce to surpass 2020 levels, growing 35 percent this year. As a result, omnichannel strategies will be instrumental to holiday sales success. Retail executives will rely on the growing popularity of last mile delivery options such as buy online, pick up in store/curbside pickup (46 percent), buy online and ship from store (40 percent), and buy in store with home delivery  (35 percent) as methods of fulfillment. 

 
 

E-commerce penetration

 

Percent of companies' holiday sales through e-commerce                                 

Last mile delivery options

 

Types of omnichannel services offered (percent of survey respondents who deploy each method in store)

 

Read the survey report

Merry and bright: Retail executives are hopeful for the upcoming holiday season
Holiday shopping report – Retail executive outlook I September 2021

 

Note(s): (a) In August 2021, KPMG conducted a survey of 114 retail executives, they were asked the questions, “How concerned is your organization with stockouts, inventory shortages or other issues obtaining merchandise?”; “Is your company planning to alter their product sourcing approach in any of the following ways?”

(b) In the same survey, retail executives were asked the question, “Prior to COVID-19, approximately what percent of your company holiday sales were through e-commerce annually? (includes all orders made online, e.g.,”; “To the best of your ability, please estimate what you think your company's sales through e-commerce will be for the coming 2021 holiday season?)”

(c) In the same survey, retail executives were asked the questions, “Pre-Covid-19 - Approximately what percent of your stores offered/will offer the following omni services?”;” During Covid-19--Approximately what percent of your stores offered/will offer the following omni services?”; “2020 holiday period - Approximately what percent of your stores offered/will offer the following omni services?”; “2021 anticipated holiday period - Approximately what percent of your stores offered / will offer the following omni services?”

Source: (1) KPMG Retail Executive survey, fielded August 2021