2020 Retail Activity Trends Report


Latest Update: Retail Performance by Category

The impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. consumer economy is an evolving story. Here at Wiland, we’re closely monitoring recent spending trends to provide actionable intelligence that retailers and their agencies can use as benchmarks and context to inform their decision-making.

An Unrivaled, Data-Rich Perspective

The Wiland Cooperative Database encompasses the most robust, detailed multichannel retail spending data available, including transaction-level detail from catalog and e-commerce brands—many of which have shown resilience in the face of recent economic headwinds.

Our latest Retail Activity Trends Report highlights changes in U.S. consumer spending by product category for the period March 8-September 26, 2020, versus the same period in 2019. While it is a point-in-time snapshot and subject to change, this report provides a reliable view of recent retail category performance trends.

Consumer Retail Activity by Wiland Product Category

Difference in Week-over-Week Change in Retail Activity by Product Category

Summary of Findings

Consumers have continued to shop throughout the pandemic but have turned to a greater degree to catalogs and e-commerce to satisfy their needs—a trend we anticipate will accelerate during the holiday shopping season. From March 8-September 26, 2020, 28-week median performance was strong in numerous categories. Throughout September, retail activity in many categories followed patterns familiar to what we observed in 2019, suggesting some stabilization.

Reporting Methodology

Retail activity is a composite of retail spending and the number of buyers, orders, and items sold. We evaluate the percent change in such retail activity from one week to the next. For each week, we then measure the difference in percent change in retail activity between 2020 and 2019. The difference is measured in percentage points. In the above table, only the difference in percentage points is shown.

Download the full version of this report, which includes additional analysis.

We regularly publish crucial business intelligence on retail spending trends. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to ensure you always have the latest information and access to our current reports.

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The massive individual-level spending data that enables this analysis is also the resource we use to create brand-unique audiences that fuel our clients’ success in all marketing channels.

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