New poll predicts a devastating holiday shopping season for local retailers


Alignable’s Consumer Confidence Poll taken last week among 5,831 consumers paints a very challenging picture for Mom & Pop Shops this upcoming holiday season. The poll shows that:

  • 45% of consumers shifted from local purchasing to online shopping when their COVID fears were greatest.
  • Unfortunately, many have not shifted back yet, mentioning ongoing safety concerns, the hassle of long lines, and a variety of other reasons.
  • Looking toward the holiday shopping season on Main St., the news is even more dire — 68% of consumers polled said they don’t plan to shift back to buying more from local retailers until 2021, if then. 
  • Among that group, 16% plan to spend even more online nationally during the holidays.

Given this data, there’s a chance some local retailers will completely miss out on much of the holiday shopping season — devastating news for many who are already in jeopardy of shutting down for good.

Consumer purchasing shifted by COVID-19

 Alignable’s Consumer Confidence Poll shows 45% of consumers shifted from shopping at local businesses to purchasing goods from national, online retailers when they were most concerned about COVID. Unfortunately, the majority of those consumers have yet to shift back to shopping with Main St. merchants.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, this trend could get even worse for small retailers, as the majority of shoppers polled — a whopping 68% — have no plans to spend more money with local merchants for the rest of the year, which could be catastrophic for Main Street’s 2020 holiday season. 

Alignable’s Consumer Confidence Poll, conducted from Oct. 10-14, 2020 among 5,831 consumers, revealed that more than half (52%) said they don’t expect to change their current shopping habits in time for the holiday season, while another 16% actually plan to increase their spending with national, online retailers instead of shopping locally.

Silver lining? Some people do plan to spend more locally

On a more positive note, 32% of consumers expect to increase their spending among local merchants by year’s end, according to the Consumer Confidence Poll.

While that’s encouraging news, only 11% said they’d spend significantly more. 

Given those statistics, this predicted increase in local spending could help some shops, but might fall short of what many merchants need to avert permanent closures. 

In fact, an Alignable poll conducted last month showed that 45% of small retailers might not make enough in Q4 to stay afloat into the new year.

Other articles from

Empty storefronts in Montreal
Two empty stores on Ste. Catherine Street W. The rate of vacant commercial space is between 10 to 15 per cent, according to the City of Montreal

Montreal’s solution to empty store fronts

Aviation workers to hold a rally on Parliament Hill

Aviation workers to hold a rally on Parliament Hill on October 20th, 2020 at noon

New pandemic government benefits explained

New pandemic government benefits explained


The latest on what’s going on in your city – delivered straight to your inbox