Survey: Consumers to spend on average more than $1,000 for the holidays

Gift givers have spent on average $1,034 on gifts for holidays and occasions through July 2006, nearly 20 percent more than they spent in the same period last year. If they continue buying gifts for friends and family at their present rate, total gift spending could top over $2,250 this year—a 12 percent rise over average spending in 2005, according to Unity Marketing’s Gift Tracker quarterly purchasing study of gift givers. 

Gift shoppers are expected to spend more than $1,000 for all holiday gifts

This year more gifters got an early start on Christmas gift shopping. Some 25 percent of gifters have spent on average $169 buying Christmas gifts to date, that compares to only 20 percent who made early Christmas gift purchases last year. 

Projecting their current level of spending through the rest of year, Unity expects the average amount spent on Christmas gifts to exceed $1,000. 

“Early Christmas shopping may well lead to more gift purchases and spending,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, Stevens, Pa. “Christmas gift shopping, like death and taxes, is inevitable. People are thinking about gift choices earlier in the season and the more they shop, the more they will ultimately buy, despite their intentions to keep spending down.”

In 2005, nearly 40 percent of gifters went over their budget for holiday gift purchases, Danziger says. “We expect the same pattern to emerge this year.”

Items Danziger said will be especially strong this holiday season, include:

* Gift certificates
* Luxury food items
* Bath and body gifts
* Luxury soaps
* Candles
* Home fragrances
* Take-home spa kits
* Perfumes

“By delighting the gift givers with wonderful gift ideas and extra services that make gifting easier, like deluxe gift wrap services and a selection of cards, wraps and bags, retailers tap the exponential marketing potential of gifting,” Danziger says. “Through gifting, marketers touch two target markets personally and directly, i.e. the person who buys the gift and the person who receives it. Because it is ‘two times two,’ gifting is exponential marketing.”