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NRF: Consumers budgeting 5 for holidays

NRF: Consumers budgeting $875 for holidays

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NRF: Consumers budgeting $875 for holidays

WASHINGTON – Consumers celebrating the winter holidays expect to spend an average of $875 on gifts, food and seasonal items, according to a survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the National Retail Federation.

That sum is $42 more than respondents to last year’s survey told researchers they were expecting to spend, though it is in line with holiday budgets over the latest five-year period, NRF said in releasing this year’s results.

“Retailers have been preparing for months to ensure their inventories will meet demand, while at the same time helping consumers maximize their budgets with shopping events and discounts running throughout the extended holiday shopping season,” according to Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and chief executive officer.

More than 8,100 adults responded to the survey, conducted between October 2 and October 9. NRF said the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Survey respondents said they were planning to spend about $620 on gifts. They were expecting to spend an average of $255 on seasonal items like decorations, candy and food.

Sales events can prompt early shopping

Similar to previous years, 43% of holiday shoppers responding to this year’s survey said they were starting their holiday shopping before November. The top reasons people begin their shopping ahead of time are to spread out their budget (60%), avoid the stress of last-minute shopping (46%) and avoid crowds (45%). Regardless of how early consumers start, the majority (62%) expect they won’t finish until December.

Early sales may sway consumers to shop even earlier, according to Phil Rist, executive vice president of strategy at Prosper. “This year, seven in 10 holiday shoppers say they are considering taking advantage of October sales events to pick up holiday gifts, décor and other items on their list.”

Shopping destination trends continue with 58% of consumers planning to shop online this holiday season. That is followed by department stores (49%), discount stores (48%), and grocery stores and supermarkets (44%).

Gift cards continue to be the most popular gift, with 55% of holiday shoppers saying they would like to receive them this year, followed by clothing or accessories (49%), books, video games or other media (28%), and personal care or beauty items (25%).

Almost one-quarter (23%) of holiday shoppers say they plan to give a gift of experience, in line with last year and up from 19% in 2021.

Even as consumers are budgeting more than last year for the holidays, they are looking for ways to make the most of their budget. When shopping for gifts, 62% say sales and promotions are even more important to them this year than last year. About one-third (36%) say they are cutting back in other areas to cover the cost of holiday items, 30% are purchasing gifts for fewer people and another 27% are buying less for themselves.