Survey Looks at Holiday Spending Plans

October 31, 2001

Survey Looks at Holiday Spending Plans

Despite lower consumer confidence, the National Retail Federation says American consumers may be more inclined to shop this holiday season that originally predicted. In fact, NRF's 2001 Consumer Holiday Outlook survey found a large majority of respondents don't plan to alter their holiday shopping behavior from years past.

While consumers may be hesitant about shopping in crowded public places, the majority of those surveyed say they plan to shop at traditional department stores (76.5% ), discount department stores (71.3%) and specialty retailers (68.9%). However, almost 60% of respondents say they plan to do some or all of their shopping through a catalog or online.

When deciding where to shop, 23.8% of consumers surveyed say the quality of the merchandise is the most important factor. Sales and merchandise selection are the next most important factors. More than 16% of respondents cite convenient location as the most important factor in their decisions.

According to the survey, four out of five consumers plan to buy gifts and cards this holiday season for the same number of people or more than last year, and young adults ages 18-24 are significantly more likely than any other age group to buy gifts for more people than last year. Plus, 65.5% of consumers report they plan to take advantage of sales and discounts during the holiday season to make additional non-gift purchases for themselves or their households.

The gifts consumers want to receive this year, however, reflect a focus on products that imply security, connectedness and a joy of life. Clothing and accessories are the most-requested gifts by the survey respondents, and jewelry is the fifth most requested gift.

The 2001 Consumer Holiday Outlook survey was conducted Oct. 19-21 with 1,000 respondents.

- by Julia M. Duncan

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