NPD: Consumers To Spend Less, Differently This Holiday Season

NPD today released its annual holiday shopping study, which showed that thirty percent of consumers surveyed said they plan to spend less this holiday, a four-point increase over last year’s results.
“That 4% increase is certainly a sign of the times. On the other hand, that 4% is not as dramatic as it could have been,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group Inc. “I think consumers will be looking for the right gift, rather than the most extravagant or expensive one. That, combined with the soft numbers we are up against from holiday last year, means I think we will see growth, albeit a modest 0.5 to 1.5%,” he said.
It is this 0.5 to 1.5% growth that takes us “back to the future”, – to holidays past, when growth rates of 5% or more were unheard of and unexpected. For Holiday 2009, not only will actual spending levels go back to the future but the kinds of gifts consumers purchase will revert to more traditional holiday gift items, according to NPD.
“The survey results point to a return of more of sweaters, fragrances, music, books, movies, and wallets as gifts,” said Cohen. “We are also seeing makeup and TVs showing signs of growth. Other standouts are notebook and netbook computers. They have been growing and will continue to grow through the holiday.”