The following is a lightly edited transcription from the May 14, 2020 live interview with Flora Delaney and Third Haus founders, Chris Walton and Anne Mezzenga. The full video interview is available here.

    I can’t have my customers socially distanced when I have 6’ x 18’ long displays running down the major aisles.


    Retailers know there will be changes with Covid and Holiday Promotions. The big players are planning holiday right now. 




    Vendors are presenting Black Friday deals and retailers are making their selections. Because they have to have holiday promotions put to bed by about the 4th of July right?




    So what is happening right now is right now is the big box retailers and the category killers and the ones who have sort of the race track design or major aisleways? They’re pulling a lot of those promo locations for the holidays. You know how when you walk into Walmart before Christmas and you walk up that main aisle and it is just pallet drop after pallet drop after pallet drop? DVD and slippers and I’ll kinds of things like.


    Giant teddy bears 


    Yeah or its TVs and ring doorbells or whatever. All of those outposts and those big walkways…They’re now pulling back on many of those promotional locations. Because they’re saying I can’t have my customers socially distanced when I have 6’ x 18’ long displays running down the major aisleways. And so they’re eliminating some of their promotional locations.

    I think for the holidays what we’re going to see are much fewer promotional locations in the store than retailers ever had before. That is going to be true for Grocery as well as Drug. Everybody is going to pull back on all those in-aisle display locations. That means promotions are going to either go on the end caps are they going to go in very discreet areas. And they’re going to sell down quickly. It’s going to mean that store associates will have to continuously replenish those locations.

    I can’t do a giant pallet drop of those big teddy bears, Anne. If I have to put them on an endcap and customers buy 5 or 6 big teddy bears, it’s going to be empty. So I think we’re go to see an extremely hyper situation where retailers have to do continuous farming throughout the sales day. Where most of them try to do that during early hours or after the shopping hours are ended.


    Or will they move all their promotional stock to the back of the house and they’re just all online. You have to be like one of the first people to grab your DVD or your teddy bear or TV or something.


    So, what the vendors are trying to figure out it is: should I try to get one of those promo locations? Should I go for Black Friday? Or should I just go big on cyber Monday? Should I put all my chips in on cyber Monday and not worry about what those in-store promotion locations look like? It could mean some radically different strategies when we think about Covid and holiday promotions.

    To watch the entire video