Research by the National Retail Federation offers a “bah-humbug” to pessimists who expect a slump in holiday sales.
The NRF’s 2005 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch for NRF, found that the average consumer plans to spend $738.11 this holiday season, up 5.1 percent from the previous year.
The data also shows that consumers will spend an additional $86.62 on themselves. The survey supports NRF’s own holiday sales forecast, which expects total holiday retail sales to jump 5.0 percent over last year to $435.3 billion.
“Just as retailers plan ahead for holiday sales and promotions, consumers plan ahead and budget for the holidays,” said NFR President Tracy Mullin. “With extra money tucked away to spend on what’s important, shoppers will be hitting the stores and spending on their loved ones, and on themselves.”
Popular items on gift lists this year includes jewelry, with more than a quarter of those surveyed listing it as an item they’ll be hoping to receive. Many consumers have already started their holiday shopping. According to the survey, 15.3 percent of consumers started their holiday shopping before September with an additional 6.3 percent starting last month. Retailers are seeing more holiday shoppers in their stores, with 18.5 percent of consumers saying they planned to begin in October. More than one-third of consumers (37.4%) will begin their holiday shopping in November and nearly one in four (22.5%) will wait until December. The survey found that consumers plan to shop at a variety of stores this year, with discounters (71.4%) and department stores (59.4%) remaining top destinations. Other popular stores include specialty stores, such as jewelry stores (46.5%). The popularity of online shopping continues to grow, with almost half (42.6%) of consumers planning to purchase gifts online, up from 38.3 percent last year.