NRF Finds Consumers Will Spend More During Holidays

The National Retail Federation released a forecast earlier this month that shows sales for the upcoming holiday season will increase from 4.3 percent to 4.8 percent over the year.

On Oct. 24, the prominent Washington, D.C.–based merchants group revealed shoppers will spend an average of $1,007.24 during the holiday season. That’s up 4.1 percent from the average of $967.13 that consumers spent in the holiday 2017 season, Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and chief executive officer, said.

“Confidence is near an all-time high, unemployment is the lowest we’ve seen in decades, and take-home wages are up,” he said. “All of that is reflected in consumers’ buying plans. 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.”

The NRF survey was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. It also broke down where holiday shoppers will make their purchases and forecasted the types of products they will buy.

Forecasted as one of the most popular items, gift cards were requested by 60 percent of people surveyed. The second most popular category was clothing and accessories with 53 percent of people requesting fashion.

The survey found that 71 percent of consumers chose the stores they patronize because of the sales and discounts offered by the seller. Quality and selection of goods were also important—60 percent of shoppers said they picked a store because of its merchandise. Free shipping was chosen as a deciding factor by 47 percent of those surveyed ,and the convenience of a store’s location was ranked as a deciding factor regarding where to shop for 45 percent of those surveyed.

A majority of consumers—60 percent—will start shopping for gifts in November. A significant minority of 21 percent are early birds who started shopping in October, while 18 percent began shopping earlier.