Holiday Shoppers Plan to Spend More This Year

Consumers will shell out an average of $1,047.634, with gift cards topping the wish list.

October 25, 2019

WASHINGTON—Consumers say they will spend an average of $1,047.83 this holiday season, up 4% from the $1,007.24 they said they would spend last year, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Shoppers between the ages of 35 and 44 plan to spend the most at $1,158.63.

“Consumers are in good financial shape and willing to spend a little more on gifts for the special people in their lives this holiday season,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release. “Retailers are fully prepared to meet the needs of holiday shoppers looking for that perfect mix of sales, quality and selection.”

Shay noted that retailers are expected to import near-record volumes of merchandise ahead of the tariffs that are scheduled to take effect on a wide range of consumer goods from China on Dec. 15. NRF’s holiday spending forecast estimated that holiday retail sales in November and December will be up between 3.8% and 4.2% over 2018 for a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion.

Consumers will spend in three main categories: gifts for family, friends and co-workers, at an average $658.55; non-gift holiday items such as candy and food, decorations, greeting cards and flowers at $227.26; and other non-gift purchases that take advantage of the deals and promotions throughout the season at $162.02.

Holiday shoppers plan to spread their shopping across multiple channels and types of stores. More than half (56%) say they will shop online. The majority of shoppers (53%) will also shop in department stores, and 51% will go to discount stores, while 44% will go to grocery stores, 34% to clothing and accessory stores, and 23% each to electronics stores and local small businesses. For the 13th year in a row, gift cards remain the most popular items on wish lists, requested by 59% of those surveyed.

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