NRF Predicts Rise in Holiday Spending
Two surveys sponsored by the National Retail Federation (NRF) show that a significant percentage of consumers planned to start their holiday shopping this year before Halloween. Some 40 percent of respondents to the NRF's October 2006 "Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey," conducted by BIGResearch, said they would begin their holiday gift buying before November.
In a survey of online holiday shoppers, the NRF's Internet arm, Shop.org, in conjunction with comparison shopping siteBizRate.com, found that 35 percent of online consumers planned to start their online holiday shopping before Halloween. Additionally, 20 percent of online holiday shoppers said they would start their online gift buying earlier than last year. To attract early-bird shoppers, many retailers intend to start their holiday marketing and promotions before November.
Overall, 70 percent of respondents said they planned to purchase holiday items in discount stores such as Wal-Mart or Costco. Also, 47 percent of consumers said they planned to purchase holiday items online, while 25 percent intended to purchase from catalogs. The most active online buyers are consumers ages 18 to 44. By comparison, the most active discount store shoppers are consumers ages 55 and older.
This year, according to the NRF, the average consumer expects to spend $791.10 this holiday season, up from $738.11 last year. Some $604 of that spending will be for buying holiday gifts online and offline. Over two-thirds of that amount will be spent on gifts for family members. Just 18 percent of spending will be on gifts for friends and co-workers, and about $187 will go toward holiday decorations, greeting cards and postage, candy and food, and other items. The NRF also expects shoppers to take advantage of sales and discounts during the holiday season by spending an additional $99 on gifts for themselves.