Stay Ahead: Insights from APCO

For Retailers, Stakeholder Engagement Will Shape Holiday Season Success or Failure

Lee Betancourt, senior associate director in APCO’s Washington, D.C. office, discusses how how the pandemic has changed retail shopping for the upcoming holiday season:
Gift in a shopping cart

"With the holiday shopping season expected to start earlier and be more consequential to companies’ year-end bottom lines than before, the retail industry is surely hoping that the remainder of 2020 will be its chance to come back stronger.

When considering the end-of-year retail experience, most discussion focuses on consumers. Will they return to shopping in-store? Or will online sales continue to reign supreme? Will shoppers be cautious with holiday spending? Or will they redirect money that would have otherwise gone to travel and experiences toward tangible gifts for family and friends? What health, safety or experience missteps will cause consumers who return to in-store shopping to retreat?

Some Positive News

  • Therapeutic benefits of baking: British people have taken up baking in order to relieve stress and spread happiness in the face of new restrictions, The Guardian
  • IT upskilling: The increase in spare time due to COVID-19 restrictions prompted many workers to upskill by taking online IT courses, The Japan Times
  • Giving back during a pandemic: A family who experienced homelessness gives back by delivering food to people currently experiencing homelessness, TODAY

More Tips from Around the Water Cooler


“Most countries are not going to neglect safety checks...In fact, the major vaccine manufacturers signed a vaccine pledge just very recently promising that they would adhere to safety requirements of the regulatory agents and not jump ahead of the curve in an effort to so-called win the race. We have to make sure that while we're fighting this pandemic, we're preparing for the next. I do believe it's only a matter of time. Now is the time to prepare.”

         - Julie Gerberding, Executive Vice-President and Chief Patient Officer, Strategic                         Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health, MSD
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