Three-Quarters of Americans Plan to Shop Local This Holiday Season

Good news for small businesses: consumers are ready to shop small this season. A new survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Mastercard found that 77% of Americans intend on shopping at local retailers for their holiday gifts. What’s more, 75% report that they’re being more conscious about where their shopping this season, prioritizing minority-owned and women-owned businesses. Additionally, more than half of those surveyed suggest they’d rather receive nothing than be gifted an item from a retailer whose values they deem not in alignment with their own.

Of course, small businesses that don’t have an e-commerce component may be at a disadvantage this year as the COVID-19 pandemic makes in-store shopping more difficult. According to Mastercard’s survey, 88% of respondents say they’ll be cutting back on brick-and-mortar shopping this holiday season. Similarly, 82% plan to shop online with 55% stating that they’ll do the majority of their shopping digitally. In a bit of good news, however, 59% of those surveyed say they are likely to spend the same amount or more this year than last.

Speaking to the emphasis on small businesses this holiday season, Mastercard senior advisor (and former Saks CEO) Steve Sadove stated, “City centers and Main Streets have long been the lifeblood of commerce in the United States, with bright lights and shop windows hallmarks of holidays past. While the retail landscape looks different this year, we’re once again seeing the amazing resilience of the American consumer – and the businesses who serve them.” Sadove went on to note that the shopping season —which typically kicks into gear post-Thanksgiving — has already begun ramping up, explaining, “October numbers show that early promotions are paying off as consumers get a jump on their holiday shopping.”

Incidentally, while Mastercard’s survey highlights the increased awareness of shopping small, it’s another card company that’s most associated with that movement: American Express. In fact, 2020 marks 10 years since the company founded Small Business Saturday, which is celebrated on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Ahead of this year’s event, Amex launched what they called their largest-ever Shop Small campaign back in June, with efforts including small business-centric offers for cardholders, a grant program aimed at supporting minority-owned businesses, and more.

With the holiday retail season already underway, it’s great to see that many Americans are choosing to factor small businesses into their shopping plans. That said, business owners may need to work in order to make themselves more accessible — whether that means setting up an online store, offering other options such as curbside pick-up, or perhaps selling digital gift cards. Hopefully, with the support of your community, this holiday season will be the start of a turnaround, leading to a much more prosperous 2021.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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