GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — One of the top shopping trends of this season at Meijer stores is higher sales of holiday décor, the company said Monday.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer says it has seen a significant increase in outdoor decorations compared to last year. Due to the pandemic, customers are repurposing dollars normally spent on family entertainment and travel in order to add items like airblown inflatables, pre-lit LED characters, projectors, and reels of holiday lights into their shopping carts.
“The heightened awareness and enthusiasm for decorating homes during the pandemic has only increased since Thanksgiving,” said Karen Langeland, divisional merchandise manager for hard home, accents and seasonal at Meijer. “Being part of these communities is important every holiday season, but when you can drive through almost any neighborhood and entire blocks are bright with holiday spirit, it enhances the connection to your family and neighbors even more.”
Langeland said many customers made their décor purchases earlier in the season to engage their children and use it as an activity to create family memories. A Meijer survey of 1,200 shoppers indicated that eight out of 10 people planning to purchase decorations expected to spend as much or more than last year. As families sought ways to demonstrate togetherness and spirit in response to the pandemic, they began putting up elaborate light displays or going on family outings to see them.
Most recently, stores in Traverse City and Detroit, as well as Toledo, Columbus and Cincinnati, have seen all items related to decorating Christmas trees become top sellers. The same popularity is true for miniature trees, tinsel and ornaments as customers incorporate holiday cheer into their home offices and virtual learning spaces for students.
As retailers steadily prepare for last-minute shoppers and the expected rush on wrapping paper and gift bags next week, Langeland anticipates the trend toward buying decorations to continue.
“Given some of the challenges of this year, we’re hoping the biggest mess customers find on Christmas Day are the unwrapped presents, empty boxes and all the colorful paper balled up,” she said.