From a Black Friday that retailers took pains to keep crowd-free to booming e-commerce sales (one retail CEO said that adoption of omnichannel services had jumped forward by years), this holiday season was one for the books. Longstanding and much-loved holiday traditions fell by the wayside as everything from Christmas parties to Santa himself went virtual. Retailers saw sales in some categories soar, while other categories tanked. Apparel, for example, suffered as a category when demand for workwear plummeted. Some retailers who relied on the category adapted; others went under.
There are countless small things that changed as a result of the global health crisis, but here are some of the largest factors that impacted the holidays for retailers in 2020.