Holiday Shoppers Plan to Buy More—for Themselves

22 percent of respondents plan to buy jewelry this year, up from 15 percent in 2013

Shoppers may be a spending mood this season, even if they haven’t fully embraced the holiday spirit.

Deloitte’s 30th annual holiday survey found that shoppers will spend 12.5 percent more this holiday—but most of that will be on gifts for themselves, rather than others.

The amount shoppers plan to spend on gifts rose 6 percent to $487—the smallest jump among holiday-spending categories. By comparison, shoppers plan to spend $976 in non-gift categories, a 16 percent rise from 2014.

Consumers expect to bestow an average of 13.7 presents this year, about equal to last year. This number improves upon 2012’s low of 12.8 gifts, but is a drop from the 2007 number of 23.1 gifts.

It also found that 22 percent of respondents plan to buy jewelry this year. That’s up from 20 percent recorded in 2014 and is more than 33 percent growth from the 15 percent looking for jewelry in 2013.

In another figure possibly relevant to our industry, some 16 percent said they intended to buy a homemade or craft item.

Other noteworthy numbers:

–  Some 47 percent plan to shop on the Internet, making it the largest planned destination for holiday buying. Still, shoppers aren’t shirking brick-and-mortars. Sixty-three percent said they planned to visit a big box store this year; 53 percent, a mall store; and 42 percent said a local independent store not in a mall.

– When asked why they planned to shop at a local store, 59 percent said they hoped to support the local economy; 54 percent were seeking one-of-a-kind gifts; 42 percent consider it more convenient; 38 percent find they have excellent customer service; and 28 percent feel loyal to the local retail store. On average, shoppers plan to spend 37 percent of their budgets at a local store.

– When asked why they plan to shop at a physical store, 54 percent said they needed to “see and touch” the items; 31 percent wanted to avoid shipping costs; 25 percent hoped to acquire gifts immediately; 22 percent prefer being able to try things on; and 20 percent said it “gives me gift ideas and inspiration.”

– Some 69 percent of consumers plan to “webroom”—look at an item online, then buy it in a store. About half (52 percent) think they will “showroom”—go to a store to find an item, then hunt for the best price online.

– Shoppers are already making plans to procrastinate. The largest percentage of shoppers (44 percent) will wait until December to buy, up 5 percentage points from five years ago.

– Deloitte predicts an overall 3.5 percent increase in holiday sales this year, about the same as the forecast from the National Retail Federation and less than last year’s 5.2 percent jump.

JCK News Director