There have been 46 retail bankruptcies in the year 2020, and experts say there are more to come, especially after the holidays. Deloitte is positing two separate scenarios for the holiday season: The first could occur if consumers (particularly those from lower-income brackets) remain wary of the pandemic and an uncertain economy, keeping holiday sales flat or sending them up just 1%. The second could occur if consumers (particularly those from higher-income brackets) regain some confidence, sending holiday sales up 2.5% to 3.5%. There are a lot of wild cards in play that could affect the final outcome, including a new government stimulus, a coronavirus vaccine, and unemployment levels. Some analysts are sounding the alarm for retailers whose holiday performance, coming on the heels of the shutdown, could make or break them.
“The worst is yet to come. The dust has not settled on this,” said Scott Stuart, CEO of the Turnaround Management Association. “You think Christmas is going to save retailers? Maybe it won’t.”