Holiday Spending to Rise

28 percent to spend on their homes, up from last year
Posted on October 10, 2016 by Allison Zisko

NPD LogoPORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.—Consumers plan to spend 3 percent more for holiday-related expenses this year, including those for their homes, than they did last year, and more of them plan to use e-commerce to do so, according to The NPD Group.

“All signs point to a holiday retail season that will outperform last year’s,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for The NPD Group. “The unvarying holiday spending intentions expressed by consumers are a sign that even this year’s intense election cycle has done little to dampen consumer confidence going into the holiday season, which we forecast to grow moderately.”

According to NPD’s Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey, consumers plan to spend an average of $636 on holiday-related expenses. When questioned more broadly, 14 percent of consumers plan to spend “more” than they did during last year’s holiday season and 17 percent say they’ll spend “less.” The results were virtually unchanged from 2015 results.

A growing percentage of those surveyed said they planned to spend on their homes—28 percent this year, compared to 21 percent last year.

When asked how the state of the economy will influence their holiday purchases in 2016, the 12 percent saying it will have a “significant impact” is down from recent years (14 percent in 2015, 19 percent in 2014).

Retailers with online purchase channels stand to gain, as consumers plan on shopping more through online channels this year, NPD said. On average, shoppers plan on doing 38 percent of their holiday shopping online, up from 33 percent last year and 29 percent in 2014.

“Consumer response is suggesting growth across retail channels, despite the growth and dominance of online shopping, which points to a sense of optimism,” said Cohen. “The lack of stand-out, must-have products this holiday season is benefiting the categories that are delivering on basic consumer wants, but marketers need to find new ways to engage and excite holiday shoppers to drive significant growth.”

Two in 10 consumers have already started their holiday shopping. Early shoppers are more likely to say they comparison shop before they buy gifts (45 percent versus 30 percent of late shoppers), and that they plan on buying all their holiday gifts on sale (38 percent vs. 21 percent of late shoppers).

The online survey was fielded in September among a U.S. representative sample of NPD online consumer panel members. The survey was completed by 3,499 individuals aged 18 and older.

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