Holiday Spending Will Average $800: NRF

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

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.

The increase is prompted by falling gas prices and growing sentimentality, according to the NRF, whose survey of 7,623 consumers was conducted Oct. 4-11 by BIGresearch.

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.

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