The Next New: Retail’s Reaction to A Hectic 2020 Holiday Season

Consumer Behavior during Pandemic

This holiday spending season is bound to be unlike any our industry has ever witnessed.  Retailers have been forced to react and create new in-store models while shoppers have completely altered their approach to buying.  The effects of COVID-19 on Retail, QSR and Fast Casual have resulted in a permanent evolution of the in-store experience. 

Taking a look at the “Next New”, we’ll walk through 3 topics of interest for the 2020 Holiday shopping season:

  1. Impacts of COVID-19
  2. Change in Consumer Behavior
  3. Retails Reaction. 


Impacts of COVID-19:  The very nature of a transmittable virus that lives on surfaces has drastically changed the use of substrates in “touch” areas.  No longer are absorbent, porous surfaces (paper based) acceptable for obvious reasons and surfaces now need to be non-porous. 

curbside pickup

Consumer Behavior:  The single most important factor in shopper satisfaction today is the feeling of safety and security. This pandemic has been around long enough that all shoppers are now “safety savvy” and can spot a brand that has adapted well from one that has a poor safety plan in place.  Shoppers are also 4 times more likely to plan their shopping trip today than before the pandemic, leading to much less time spent in store.

Retails Reaction:  Retail is heavily counting on a big 2020 Holiday spending season to offset the losses that were incurred during the shutdown.  They are adapting to the shopper change by creating displays and end cap units for the heavy demand products that consumers want to get to quickly.  Retail is also beginning the Holiday push earlier than ever before (Nov 1st), while adopting stringent cleaning procedures in all “touch” areas.  These factors all lead to a change in substrate qualities.  Today, unlike any time before, a substrate needs to be durable and non-porous to stand up to the constant cleaning and safety regulations.

3A Composites Product Suggestions:

GATORPLAST®:  Exceptionally strong and durable with a non-porous facing.  Perfect for any “traffic” area as the print quality is exceptional and it can easily stand up to rigorous cleaning demands. Common Applications: Displays, End Caps, Signage.

GATORFOAM®Strong and durable with a slightly more porous texture than GATORPLAST.  Common Applications: Display framing or end cap construction

FOME-COR®:  The perfect choice for signage or a combination of signage and display units.  Use this for hanging signs or display areas that are over 6 feet.