Report: Labor Day Impacted By Delta Variant

Labor Day will see spending and celebrating shift, according to Numerator.
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August 27, 2021


Numerator, a data and tech company serving the market research space, has released a two-part consumer sentiment survey to understand how people plan to celebrate, shop and spend Labor Day 2021.

With the rise of the Delta variant, consumers have lowered their early summer expectations to return to celebrating Labor Day, particularly in the southern U.S.

The survey of more than 1,000 Numerator panelists (done in June and August waves to understand the Delta variant) shows the following key findings among consumers who plan to celebrate Labor Day:

- Consumer concern about COVID impacting Labor Day doubled in two months: In June, 8 percent of consumers expected COVID to have a significant impact on Labor Day celebration plans, and that number jumped to 16 percent in August. Those expecting no impact from COVID fell from 44 percent in June to 38 percent in August; and

- Consumer enthusiasm for Labor Day has waned: In June, 42 percent of consumers claimed they were somewhat or significantly more

excited for Labor Day than in prior (pre-COVID) years. That dropped to 27 percent in August.


When it comes to shopping for Labor Day celebrations, both categories and retail channels are seeing the impacts of shifting consumer behavior:

- Click and collect benefits from consumers' plans to stay home: More consumers are now planning to avoid going in-store for their Labor Day supplies, with 13 percent of consumers saying they will order via click and collect, up from 8 percent in June; and


- Grilling materials (e.g., utensils and charcoal) saw the most significant declines among tracked categories. Nearly half of consumers (47 percent) say they purchased grilling materials for Labor Day in previous years. In June, 37 percent of consumers planned to purchase grilling materials, which fell to 31 percent in August.

With fewer consumers planning to celebrate with a group, traditional "party" categories also show declines from June to August, including desserts, decorations and side dishes, festive apparel and sporting goods/outdoor games.

The categories seeing upticks from June to August were fruits and vegetables, snacks and alcohol.


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