According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend an average of $1,007.24 during the holiday season this year, up 4.1 percent from the $967.13 they said they would spend last year.
A recent survey of consumers, paired with NRF’s annual holiday spending forecast, shows that holiday retail sales in November and December will rise. Holiday shoppers are expected to spend a majority of their money in three categories: gifts ($637.67); non-gift holiday items such as food, decorations, flowers, and greeting cards ($215.04); and non-gift purchases that take advantage of deals and promotions throughout the season ($154.53).
“The holidays are just around the corner and consumers are ready to shop,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers expect strong demand this year, and are prepared with a wide array of merchandise while offering strong deals and promotions during the busiest and most competitive shopping season of the year.”
Most holiday shoppers (60 percent) are waiting until at least November to begin browsing and buying items for the season. Sales and discounts are the biggest factor in which retailers customers choose (71 percent), with quality and selection of merchandise the next-biggest (60 percent), followed by free shipping (47 percent) and convenient location (45 percent).
The most popular item on wish lists for the holidays is gift cards (60 percent). Food will undoubtedly be another popular selection during holiday shopping, so bakeries and other foodservice establishments are wise to prepare accordingly.