Nevadans expected to spend less for holidays due to unemployment, uncertainty about future

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A double-digit unemployment rate in Nevada will have an impact on holiday shopping, according to the Retail Association of Nevada.

“With Nevada being second in the nation for unemployment, we are not expecting that holiday sales in Nevada will be setting any records, and in fact, we might even see numbers decline this year in Nevada,” said Bryan Wachter, senior vice president of government and public affairs of the retail association of Nevada.

The association expects a 3 to 8% drop at brick-and-mortar store locations but online sales, which have been strong since the start of the pandemic, could fill some of the gap.

In Nevada, online retail sales from Jan. 2020 through Aug. 2020 totaled $2.7 billion and grew by nearly 144% compared to the same time period last year. Online sales are now making up more than 18% of all retail sales.

A recent national survey by Deloitte showed nearly 60% of consumers felt anxious about in-store shopping and 74% said they planned to shop online.

Holiday retail sales, on a national level are expected to increase between 3.6% and 5.2%. However, the National Retail Federation said a survey shows the average consumer plans to spend $997 on holiday shopping which is down 4.8%. The biggest chunk of money will be spent on gifts, followed by food.

Retailers have adapted to changing consumer preferences by creating safer in-person shopping environments. Many major retailers, such as Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot and Target, will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day, and many retailers have already started their “Doorbuster” Black Friday deals to help mitigate large crowds and keep social distancing measures in place.

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