A look ahead at what consumers can expect

Excitement is in the air as many see this holiday season as a look into our “new normal.” As consumers travel, spend, and learn what to expect as the winter season picks up, what should consumers look forward to in this new normal? Read below as we talk travel, local businesses, and store openings (or should we say closings) as we cover what consumers can expect this holiday season.


This holiday’s travel season is about to be chaotic. As predicted by Cassandra in our May report Are We There Yet?, travel has returned with a boom. Yet, what travel will look like will be a bit different this year as the industry braces for “near pre-pandemic [traveling] rates” along a backdrop of pilot and crew shortages, reduced flights, and limited operations. And that doesn’t even include the shocking increase in air rage incidents from unruly passengers during non-holiday travel days. Consumers should meditate and brace for increased canceled flights and crowded airports, a shuffle that may shape future sentiment about the overall travel experience.


Shortages reported on in The Big (Short)Age, our two-part Cassandra Daily series, are now in full swing. As the availability of food and household items are already down 11%, a -2% difference since March 2020, consumers look outside of big brands to fill their shopping needs. Now more than ever, consumers are shopping at small and local businesses that have been ramping up and preparing to be “ready to fill the void” created by the reliance on “overseas shipments.” As a focus on community continues to be top of mind for youth, and holidays now lean on mom-and-pop shops, the push to buy local is getting its turn in the spotlight.


As workers continue to demand more from employers with a refocus on the life part of work-life balance, employers pivot to retain employees during this time of Great Resignation. With REI closing on Thanksgiving and Black Friday for the seventh year running, brands join the trend as it spreads from big box stores nationwide to retailers in Kentucky and restaurants in Tallahassee. Youth is re-thinking everything, and we’re seeing the ripple effect trickle up into business policies around holiday work hours. As Gen Z and Millennials make up more and more of the workforce, their shifting life priorities and career expectations will result in even more evolving workplace policies.

Cassandra Daily will break for the holidays and return Nov 29th, happy and safe holidays to all our readers and we’ll see you soon!