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December 17, 2020 - By Barron Rosborough

Hawke Media Special Report: December 17, 2020

We’re counting down the days until 2020 comes to a close and while there is so much we want to leave behind, there is a lot to look forward to in the new year.

The US has an approved COVID-19 vaccine that’s already being distributed to healthcare professionals and high-risk populations. In relatively short order the vaccine will become more widely available and we can chart a new path for ourselves.

The electoral college confirmed President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election victory to become the nation’s 46th President in January 2021. And with him, a wave of groundbreaking cabinet selections that is staffed with women, people of color, and a collection of diverse ideas and experiences.

While we look ahead, we must still acknowledge and face the challenges that will present themselves in the new year. As a community, we can overcome them and build back what we’ve lost in 2020 with some radical ideas like rethinking the use of public space, incorporating virtual experiences with live experiences, and an eCommerce-first world.

Consumer Trends


  • Retail spending fell 1.1% in November, indicating a sharper decline than economists had predicted as the unemployment rate climbs and a new wave of tighter restrictions on shoppers and businesses as COVID numbers surge, according to a report from the Commerce Department.


Source: McKinsey & Company


  • “The recession looming over the global pandemic is shaping fashion spending habits. Just under three-quarters of consumers (72%) are spending less or the same as they did before,” according to a recent Trustpilot survey.

Business Trends

Holiday Shipping Logjam

  • An estimated 3 billion packages will test the US’s shipping infrastructure this holiday season, up 800 million from last year, according to the New York Times.
  • USPS is under heavy burden as UPS and FedEx prioritize vaccine shipping during a holiday season when online shopping is testing the limits of the global shipping infrastructure.
  • “Let the customer know prior to their purchase when they can expect delivery and how much it will cost. Put practices in place to update them at every stage of the process, like when their order has been dispatched.” –

The Home Stretch: Holiday Tips from Our Partners

Focus on eCommerce

Source: Listrak
  • Despite a drop in retail sales, eCommerce is still producing strong results as we near the end of Q4.

Looking Inward

Source: Ruhlin Group via Forbes
  • Just because we can’t have the annual holiday party doesn’t mean the need isn’t still there to foster relationships and build bonds within your ranks.
  • Skip the holiday party (obviously) and give your employees something that will last that’s memorable and personal.