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Consumers Ready to Spend on Gifts – Survey

Holiday sales will be similar to last year, National Retail Federation predicts.
Oct 22, 2020 5:05 AM   By Rapaport News
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US spending on holiday gifts will be similar to last year as consumers look to celebrate after the uncertainty and stress of the pandemic, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

“Consumers have demonstrated their resilience and adaptability throughout these extraordinary times,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said Wednesday.

Americans said they would shell out approximately $998 on seasonal purchases, compared with $1,048 in 2019, according to a study the NRF ran with Prosper Analytics. Consumers have allocated $650 of their total budget to gifts, 1% less than the $659 spent last year. Despite the slight drop, this year’s figures are still significantly higher than the five-year average, NRF noted.

Some $230 will go toward non-gift holiday items such as decorations and food, while consumers will spend $117 on other non-gift purchases that take advantage of deals and promotions offered by retailers, the survey found.

“While overall spending is down by about $50 from last year, nearly all of the decrease comes from consumers’ hesitation to use season sales and promotions to buy other, non-gift purchases for themselves and their families,” NRF noted.

Meanwhile, one in five holiday shoppers said they typically traveled for the holidays, but would stay home this year, and half of those claimed they were likely to reroute the money to holiday items.

Consumers also plan to start shopping earlier this year, with 42% noting they will begin purchasing in October, and 41% in November.

Among the 7,660 consumers surveyed, more than half said they would be more likely to shop earlier if retailers offered a special sale or promotion. Some 37% of respondents would start spending earlier to avoid crowds, and 31% to avoid the stress of last-minute shopping. About one-fifth of those asked were worried it would take longer to get their items this year, prompting them to look earlier, while the same number stated extra money from a government stimulus would get them out of their house before they had planned.

Online purchasing for the holidays is also popular with respondents, NRF observed. Well over half of those surveyed planned to buy gifts online this year, and nearly all of those shoppers will use free shipping. For those who plan to shop outside their home, 45% said they would patronize department stores, while 43% chose discount stores.

Image: A woman carrying holiday gifts. (Shutterstock)
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Tags: Holiday Spending, Matthew Shay, National Retail Federation, NRF, Prosper Analytics, Rapaport News, retail
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