Prosper: Signals Suggest Good Walmart Holiday But Rough Season For Macy’s

Market research firm Prosper Insights & Analytics has released its Holiday 2014: Retailers to Watch report. The company stated that spending plans are up this holiday season with an increase in consumer confidence, which has registered a seven year high and may be encouraging consumers to relax a heightened practicality caused by the recession. Lower fuel prices also are easing budget constraints, Prosper suggested.

Shoppers still will seek big sales and big discounts in the holiday, however, and focus on disciplined spending, which will put pressure on retailers in the season, the firm related.

Prosper outlined its findings about shoppers planning to engage major retailers as the holidays progresses:

  • Amazon Shoppers. Holiday spending plans up 9.9% versus the 2014 season.
  • Walmart Shoppers. Holiday spending plans up 5.3% year-over-year.
  • Target Shoppers. Holiday spending plans up 1.1% compared with last year’s time frame.
  • Costco Shoppers. Holiday spending plans up 5.2% versus last year’s season.
  • Kohl’s Shoppers. Holiday spending plans up 3% compared with the year-earlier festivities.
  • TJX Shoppers. Holiday spending plans up 1.3% compared with 2014 year’s end.
  • Macy’s Shoppers. Holiday spending plans down 1.8% from the year-prior season.
  • Nordstrom Shoppers. Holiday spending plans up 7.5% versus last year’s timeframe.
  • Best Buy Shoppers. Holiday spending plans up 1.3% from the season a year ago.

According to Prosper, Walmart shoppers have more confidence, are happier and in a better savings position than they were last year, and are the group most likely to benefit from easing gas prices. For its part, Target shoppers have gotten younger and are more likely to pay with cash, which could restrict spending.

Proper pointed out that Costco customers tend to be a little older on average but added that mature consumers turn out to be this year’s big spenders. In its operation, Prosper maintained, Kohl’s tends to draw a big Baby Boomer crowd, a customer group that loves its heavy discounts and promotions. Macy’s shoppers plan to spend 14% more on holiday than their Kohl’s counterparts but will shell out less with the department store operator overall, which Prosper speculated, could be the result of relatively heavy spending with the chain over the past several years. Prosper noted that Nordstrom customers were the only group to place quality, at 76% of those surveyed, ahead of sales/promotions, at 74%, when it comes to their holiday shopping motivations.