Delivery and Pickup Delays; COVID Costs; Expected “Return to Normal” has Worsened

By Cleveland Admin

In September, when asked about their most recent online order, anywhere from a third to 44% of consumers have experienced delays on delivery or pickup times across multiple retailers. When looking at the weighted averages, performed best, while Wayfair had the longest delivery time. Interestingly, despite winning the top score for delivery experience, Amazon had the second longest lead time at 3.1 days. We expect delivery times will remain strained through the balance of 2020 and into 1Q21, although there may be some benefit from consumers planning to start their holiday shopping earlier than normal

Note: Retailers included Amazon,,,,,, and Wayfair, N=1,386 respondents in total ~350/platform

Source: Health Matters via NY Presbyterian

COVID Costs Continue as Lowe’s Provides Additional Bonus:
Lowe’s has committed more than $775 million to their associates and communities in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, most recently announcing an additional $100 million in bonuses to hourly workers.  Between costs related to health and safety initiatives to increased pay for frontline workers, the expense of COVID is steep for retailers.  Similarly, Amazon spent $4B+ during 2Q20 on COVID-19 related expenses and planned to spend an additional $2B during 3Q20. Manufacturers expect retailers to pass along at least some of their COVID-19 costs in the form of higher asks either in 4Q20 or for next year.

Source: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Expected “Return to Normal” has Worsened:
Consumers’ outlook on “returning to normal” worsened in our most recent study, with only 18% of respondents expecting to do so by the end of 2020, vs. our prior study estimating 35%. The magnitude of these shifts each month tends to correspond to case growth and the lack of structural change to pandemic-related issues. This has left many consumers feeling hesitant to dine in at restaurants, travel, shop inside of malls and attend events.

Source: CRC Consumer Survey | May 4, June 4, June 23, July 24, September 2 and September 25, 2020 | 600 respondents

Note: Cumulative figures do not reach a hundred as a portion indicated they are “unsure” when they plan to do those activities. Results for September also include attending an event. Studies prior to September 25 asked only about 2021 and did not have the Jan-Mar monthly breakdown.

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