Lewis Honors College Capstone Collection

Year of Publication



Agriculture, Food and Environment


Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Merchandising, Apparel & Textiles

First Capstone/Thesis Advisor

Dr. Scarlett Wesley


It is commonly known that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted many industries, including healthcare, transportation, and leisure to name a few. One particular industry that seems to have been greatly affected is retail. With many individuals deciding to stay safe at home rather than go out shopping, this poses a question regarding how retail companies are changing their selling and promotional strategies. It is apparent that online shopping has become more popular. However, what may be less apparent is how retail stores are adapting. With fewer customers entering the stores, it is important to look into what companies are doing in an attempt to encourage more foot traffic. This project takes an in-depth look into how COVID-19 has affected the retail industry in terms of visual displays, shopping patterns, and marketing tactics. The main focus will be on how companies have changed these components of their strategy during the 2020 holiday season as compared to the 2019 holiday season. The fourth quarter of the year is oftentimes the most important period for retailers, for it is when they have the largest opportunity to make sales. From analyzing how visual displays, shopping patterns, and marketing tactics have been altered as a result of the pandemic, this project will conclude with inferences of what the future of the retail industry may look like, along with whether or not some changes in retail strategies and consumption patterns may be permanent or long-lasting.