Christmas is going to be on the usual date. The only other thing we know for sure is that it will be a Christmas like no other.
Extended families will be kept apart. Parties will be happening on Zoom (if anywhere). Santa’s going to be in lockdown, just like everyone else.
But what does a coronavirus Christmas mean for businesses that rely on Yuletide for a big slice of their annual income?
Amazingly, it’s not all uncertainty and gloom (although there’s plenty of both going around). There are glimmers of hope for at least some sectors and brands.
However we spend Christmas, we’ll still be spending
Sadly, there’s no doubt that many families will be struggling this year. But others may even be slightly better-off thanks to the “working from home dividend” — earning the same but spending less with no commute.
In any case, there’s strong evidence that even a global pandemic won’t stop a lot of people from shopping and celebrating. Let’s look back to 2008, a different but comparable recession. Consumer confidence was in crisis that Christmas just as it is now, yet UK grocery sales rose by 8.1%.