Consumers will spend nearly $800 on average this holiday season, up 7% from last year—with nearly $100 more earmarked for purchases for themselves.
Holiday sales will total $457.4 billion this year, projects the National Research Federation in its 2006 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey.
More shoppers (nearly 37%) say sales and discounts will influence their purchases, compared to 14% attracted by everyday low prices. Nearly 25% say merchandise selection is the most important factor in choosing where to shop; fewer cite product quality (12%), convenient location (7%) and customer service (4%).
Shoppers will spend an average $451.34 on family, $85.60 on friends, $22.40 on coworkers, and $44.52 on acquaintances such as clergy, teachers, and babysitters. They’ll spend another $99.22 on items for themselves, prompted by holiday discounts.
Discount stores remain the favorite venue for shoppers (cited by 70%), followed by specialty stores (48%), grocery stores (49%), drug stores and crafts or fabrics stores (each cited by 21% of respondents).
Almost half of consumers (47%) plan to shop online, up from 36% three years ago.
Department stores stand to gain, as 62% of shoppers plan excursions there, up from 53% in 2003. Young adults 18-24 will increasingly tap department stores: Fully 79% plan to shop in department stores this year, up from 73% last year and 66% in 2004.