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Young Shoppers to Drive Rise in Holiday Spending

Consumers between 18 and 34 plan to expand their circle of gift recipients.
Oct 27, 2019 9:47 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... US consumers are planning to spend 4% more this holiday season, as shoppers between the ages of 18 and 34 expand their circle of gift recipients, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

“Younger consumers are helping drive the spending increase this year,” Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy at Prosper Insights, which ran a survey with the NRF, said last week. “They’re not just spending on their immediate family members, they’re also treating their larger circle of coworkers and friends to gifts.”

Americans said they would shell out approximately $1,048 on seasonal purchases, compared with $1,007 in 2018, according to the study. More than half of shoppers ages 25 to 35 planned to purchase gifts for coworkers, and 82% of those between 18 and 24 planned to buy gifts for their friends. Meanwhile, shoppers in the 35-to-44 age group planned to spend the most, at $1,159.

“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,” noted NRF CEO Matthew Shay.

Consumers have allocated $659 of their total outlays to buying gifts, while $227 will go toward non-gift holiday items such as candy, food, flowers and greeting cards. The remaining $162 will be spent on other non-gift purchases that take advantage of deals and promotions offered by retailers throughout the season, the survey found.

To match the rise in consumer confidence, retailers are expected to import near-record volumes of merchandise ahead of the tariffs scheduled to take affect a wide range of consumer goods from China on December 15, the NRF explained.

Among the 7,782 consumers surveyed, jewelry was low on the list of most-desired gifts. Only 23% said they wanted to receive products from that category, similar to last year’s 22%. Some 59% wanted to buy gift cards, while 52% chose clothing and accessories. Entertainment — which includes books, movies, music and video games — accounted for 35% of the vote, with electronics and home décor garnering 29% and 24%, respectively. At the bottom of the list were personal-care or beauty products, sporting goods and home-improvement items.

Holiday shoppers planned to shop across multiple channels, with 56% reporting they would purchase online. Some 53% of shoppers will also shop in department stores, with 51% going to discount stores.

Most consumers will do their purchasing prior to the December tariffs, with 39% saying they would start buying holiday items before November, and 43% saying they would begin purchasing in November. Only 18% noted they would start buying gifts in December.

Earlier this month, the NRF predicted holiday sales in the US would grow between 3.8% and 4.2% for a total of $727.9 billion to $730.7 billion.

Image: A woman shopping for holiday gifts. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Holiday Spending, Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation, NRF, Phil Rist, Prosper Insights, Rapaport News
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