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Navigating Christmas shopping in a pandemic

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 7:43 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The coronavirus pandemic continues to surge to new heights, right as Christmas travel and shopping approaches. The pandemic makes navigation difficult for the most celebrated holiday of the year. Independent retirement planning advisor Josh Smith of Strategic Wealth Designers says the holidays this year will be a mixed bag of celebration and trepidation.

“On the one hand you have Christmas and New Year’s, which typically bring out the best in generosity and a loving spirit,” Smith says. “At the same time, we continually see negative headlines about restrictions being put in place and coronavirus cases jumping to all-time highs. The traditional shopping landscapes we’re accustomed to are not going to happen. Some will benefit greatly while others are decimated.”

Those who have spent time throughout the pandemic building out a robust online presence are going to win the day throughout December. Many retailers have invested heavily in attracting customers online given the expected COVID rise in the colder months. Smith says that small businesses that are mainly reliant on physical locations will stand to see the greatest loss.

“The big chains, Walmart, Apple, Home Depot and the like, these big stores have the infrastructure in place to see a large portion of their sales targets shift to online and not be hurt too significantly,” Smith says. “There will be some drop off because people in-store spend more than the average online shopper but overall we will see record online sales. Depending on what restrictions continue to be added, the local and small businesses will be hurt the greatest. If we went to a full shutdown again, the unemployment numbers would surge to a historic level, and a recovery could be very long having to go through this scenario a second time.”

Smith expects there to be some pocketed shutdowns but nothing from a national scale that shutters all locations. To see additional stories surrounding business and economic news for the Lexington area, visit https://WKYT.com/MoneyMatters and if you have a question for Josh send an email to info@swdgroup.com

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