U.S. consumers intend to spend an average of $646 on gifts this holiday season, which would represent an 11 percent increase over the $582 they planned to spend, on average, in 2012, according to Accenture’s annual holiday shopping survey.
Additionally, the survey shows that the appeal of Black Friday shopping for consumers has reached a five-year high and Thanksgiving Day has emerged as an established holiday season event. Although they plan to spend more, consumers also will be on the lookout for sizeable discounts throughout the holiday season.
The Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey found that one in five consumers (20 percent) plans to spend more on gifts this year, compared to 14 percent who planned to increase their holiday spending in 2012. They also are more likely to overspend their holiday budget this year (46 percent, compared to 34 percent in 2012).
However, holiday shoppers will be keenly focused on discounts and sales: 94 percent said that discounts will be important to their purchasing decisions this holiday season, up from 84 percent in 2012, and 49 percent expect that three-quarters or more of their purchases will be for discounted or sale items.
The survey indicates that the lure of Black Friday as a major shopping event is at its highest level in five years: 55 percent of shoppers say they are likely to shop on this traditional shopping day, compared to 53 percent in 2012, and 44 percent in 2011. However, a larger proportion of shoppers (30 percent) said they will do most of their Black Friday shopping online, compared to 25 percent in 2012.
At the same time, the survey shows that the growing trend among retailers to open their stores on Thanksgiving Day means that this event is becoming ingrained as a holiday tradition. In fact, 38 percent of shoppers surveyed said they were likely to shop on Thanksgiving. Of those shoppers, 41 percent indicated that they will be out shopping between 6 PM Thanksgiving Day and 5 AM on Black Friday.
Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of respondents said they had already started their holiday shopping or plan to do most of it by the end of November.