Consumers Should Spend More During the Holidays
New NPD Group study finds 29% of U.S. consumers plan to spend more on their holiday shopping than they did last year, with holiday spending set to increase 3% during traditional shopping season holidays in November and December and 5% when the season is expanded to include October and early January.
Almost two-thirds of consumers expect the 2021 holiday season to look more like it was last year than the pre-pandemic holiday season in 2019. Despite personal financial circumstances and the state of the economy, the survey found an increase in consumer optimism about vacations this year, especially with the rise in online shopping.
“It will be a hybrid party this year, mixing the return of a festive feeling with the now normalized pandemic lifestyle,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry adviser for NPD. “We expect the sustained consumer propensity to spend to continue through the traditional buying period of November and December. However, shopping in the here and now and other spending styles that emerged during the pandemic will bring additional growth to the extended shopping season from October to January of this year. ”
Other conclusions of the study:
- One-third of consumers plan to buy more gifts because they will see family and friends over the holidays
- Six in ten consumers (58%) are more comfortable shopping in-store now that vaccines are widely available
- 32% of consumers are less concerned than they were last year about COVID-19
- The amount consumers plan to spend this year has increased, as consumers plan to spend $ 1,000 or more
- More than half (51%) of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, up from 49% last year
“New optimism, along with an underlying uncertainty, is fueling buying expectations, making it a more complex holiday season for consumers and merchants,” Cohen said. “But retailers and manufacturers who remain flexible will be able to navigate the diverse landscape of consumer behavior and achieve a successful vacation outcome.”
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