NPD: Consumers To Spend More During Holiday Season

Consumers are expected to spend more this holiday season, according to data from The NPD Group, but how shoppers allocate their dollars could present new challenges for retailers.

NPD’s Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey found that consumers plan on spending an average of $740 during the holidays, an increase of 7% over 2018. But more than half of consumers surveyed said they would rather plan an outing with family and friends rather than exchange gifts, a sentiment that is stronger this year than last year.

“There is more of a divide in consumer sentiment heading into this holiday season than we have seen in years,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “There are fewer consumers planning on doing what they did last year, which means retail needs to be prepared to think differently as well.”

Among the other noteworthy consumer shopping intentions for the holidays revealed in the NPD survey are:

• Compared to 2018, more consumers this year will begin their holiday shopping earlier (in some cases September) and on Black Friday.

• More than three-quarters of consumers said they will shop online this holiday season, but more than half of purchases will be done in-store.

• 20% of online holiday purchases will be bought online and picked up in the store.

• Almost half of consumers plan to purchase intangible gifts this holiday season, with food/beverage experiences and charitable donations topping the list.

• More consumers are planning on buying home products, like appliances and housewares, but they plan to spend less on them than last year.