While overall holiday retail forecasts appear to coming in a bit less robust than last years’ 6.2% increase, consumers are indeed expected to be in a spending mood the next 6 weeks as the NRF predicts U.S. shoppers will be spending an average of $791.10 on holiday gifts.
The National Retail Federation’s 2006 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, sees an almost $53 increase from the $738.11 shoppers spent on last year’s holiday rush. Furthermore, as we mentioned in this space last week, shoppers will be taking advantage of sales and discounts to spend an additional $99.22 on themselves so keep that in mind as your customers are going over their gift lists.
“With gas prices coming down and consumer sentiment on the rise, shoppers want to celebrate the holidays in style,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “Retailers will be sure to give consumers a reason to spend their extra disposable income in the stores with enticing incentives and special promotions.”
As for the breakdown of where they’ll shop, the NRF reports that consumers will actually shop at a wide variety of locations this holiday season. Discount stores at 70.3%, will continue to be the most popular holiday location, but specialty stores made a surprisingly strong showing in the survey coming in at 48.4%. That location list was rounded out with department stores at 61.6%, grocery stores coming in at 49.3%, drug stores at 21.0%, and craft stores at 20.5%. As for the roll cyberspace will play in this year’s shop, nearly half (47.1%) of consumers said they plan to shop online this year, up from 36.0 percent three years ago.
The NRF report also broke down how consumers will allocate that $791.10 with $451.34 going on gifts for family, $85.60 on friends, $22.40 on coworkers, and $44.52 on other people in their lives like teachers, babysitters and the like.
Beyond all the numbers on where they will shop and how much they might spend, the NRF survey also examined what factors will get people in the store. While most of those surveyed claim that “everyday low prices” (14.2%) and sales or price discounts (36.5%) will drive them to particular store, more shoppers this year said that other factors like customer service (4.4%), product quality (12.4%), and merchandise selection (24.3%) are also high on their list when determining where to shop. Additionally, 6.5 percent of shoppers said they choose stores with the most convenient location.