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Holiday shoppers plan to spend 4% more this year: NRF

Nov '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
US consumers say they will spend an average of $1,047.83 this holiday season, up 4 per cent from the $1,007.24 they said they would spend last year, according to the annual survey released recently by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Shoppers aged between 35 and 44 plan to spend the most at $1,158.63.

“Consumers are in good financial shape and willing to spend a little more on gifts for the special people in their lives this holiday season,” NRF president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay said in a statement.

Shay noted that retailers are expected to import near-record volumes of merchandise ahead of the tariffs that are scheduled to take effect on a wide range of consumer goods from China on December 15.

The consumer survey comes on top of NRF’s annual holiday spending forecast, which takes into account a variety of economic factors to project overall spending rather than per-consumer spending. The forecast estimated that holiday retail sales in November and December will be up between 3.8 per cent and 4.2 per cent over 2018 for a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion.

Consumers will spend in three main categories during the holidays–gifts for family, friends and co-workers, at an average $658.55; non-gift holiday items such as candy and food, decorations, greeting cards and flowers at $227.26; and other non-gift purchases that take advantage of the deals and promotions throughout the season at $162.02.

More than half of shoppers between the ages of 25 and 34 (52 per cent) plan to purchase gifts for co-workers, and 82 per cent of those between 18 and 24 plan to purchase gifts for their friends.

Holiday shoppers plan to spread their shopping across multiple channels and types of stores. More than half (56 per cent) say they will shop online. Among online shoppers, 92 per cent plan to take advantage of free shipping and 48 per cent will use buy online, pick-up in store or ship to store services, and 16 per cent plan to use same-day delivery, which has doubled since 2015.

The youngest online shoppers (ages 18 to 24) are the most likely to say they plan to use same-day delivery at 32 per cent.

The majority of shoppers, 53 per cent, will also shop in department stores and 51 per cent will go to discount stores, while 44 per cent will go to grocery stores, 34 per cent to clothing and accessory stores and 23 per cent each to electronics stores and local small businesses.

Similar to previous years, 39 per cent of holiday shoppers said they would start buying holiday items before November, while 43 per cent are waiting until at least November and 18 per cent are waiting until December.

Sales and discounts remain the largest factor in choosing a particular retailer during the holidays, cited by 70 per cent. Quality merchandise was the next-largest factor (cited by 59 per cent), followed by selection of merchandise (57 per cent), free shipping and shipping promotions (46 per cent) and convenient location (44 per cent).

The survey of 7,782 adult consumers was conducted between October 1 and 10.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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