• Retail Dive

Holiday shoppers plan to spend 4.1% more this year


Dive Brief:

  • Holiday shoppers will spend an average $1,007.24 this year, up 4.1% from the $967.13 they planned on spending last year, according to the annual consumer report by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Prosper conducted the survey of 7,313 adult consumers between Oct. 1 and 11, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.

  • Consumers are anticipated to prioritize their spending in three categories – gifts, ($637.67), non-gift holiday items like food, decorations, flowers and greeting cards ($215.04), and other non-gift purchases that take advantage of holiday price cuts ($154.53), according to the survey.

  • Shoppers are expected to shop in-store and online: 55% will go online and to department stores, 51% will go to discount stores, 44% to grocery stores, 33% to clothing stores and 24% to electronics stores. Half of those planning online shopping say they’ll pick up their purchases in-store. Of those choosing delivery, 94% will take advantage of free shipping, 16% will choose expedited shipping and 11% same-day delivery.

Dive Insight:

Evidence is mounting that retailers are in for a cheery season this year. This survey follows NRF’s annual holiday spending forecast, which uses a variety of economic factors to project overall spending rather than per-consumer spending. The forecast estimates that total sales would rise between 4.3% and 4.8%, or $717.5 billion and $720.9 billion.

"Confidence is near an all-time high, unemployment is the lowest we’ve seen in decades and take-home wages are up. All of that is reflected in consumers’ buying plans," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. "Retailers expect strong demand this year, and are prepared with a wide array of merchandise while offering strong deals and promotions during the busiest and most competitive shopping season of the year period.”

Discounts remained the largest factor for most in choosing where to shop (71%), followed by quality and selection of merchandise (60%), free shipping (47%) and convenient location (45%). Lucky for those keen on deals (and for retailers), inventory for the holidays was well set before tariffs could take their toll, according to the report. But consumers are also after quality this year.

"Consumers will be scouring through retailers’ ads to make sure they are getting the best deal possible," Prosper Insights Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said in a statement. "Although sales will remain an important factor, shoppers want good quality and want to be able to find what they’re looking for."

The penchant for gift cards may be making shopping easier: For the 12th straight year, they're the most popular items on wish lists (60%), followed by clothing and accessories (53%), books/movies/music (37%), electronics (29%), home décor (23%), jewelry (22%), personal care or beauty items (19%), sporting goods (18%) and home improvement items (17%).

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