Amazon Prime Day delay, back-to-school uncertainty is changing the shopping calendar

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Shoppers can usually count on this time of year for end-of-summer deals and back-to-school promotions, but the coronavirus pandemic has thrown the retail calendar out of whack, making year-over-year comparisons difficult.

“Changes in back-to-school/college spending are the latest factor altering comparisons to last year. We are in a period of continuous change and uncertainty, making it increasingly important to look at retail activity over time, rather than just one point in time,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD Group’s chief retail industry adviser.

“July’s loss of Prime Day will bring another layer of change to the 2020 holiday season, with retailers already preparing to compete with the event, effectively moving Black Friday up by more than a month.”

...Cowen analysts also think the back-to-school season will be a more “prolonged” one, but say it will be weakened by the current consumer condition.

More than half of the respondents (52%) to the First Insight,retail predictive analytics company poll that Cowen hosted said they weren’t going to be buying for back-to-school this year.

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