NRF: Holiday spending will be on par with 2020

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Washington – Holiday shoppers are prioritizing gifts for family and friends along with celebratory food and décor, per the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Consumers plan to spend an average of $997.73, which is on par with last year but slightly below the pre-pandemic high of $1,047.83 in 2019. What’s changed? Fewer consumers plan to make non-gift purchases for themselves and their families this year.

Although 47% of holiday shoppers plan to take advantage of sales or discounts to make non-gift purchases, they plan to spend an average of $118.41 on these items. In 2019, 60% planned to make such purchases and expected to spend $162.02. As many continue to work from home, shoppers are also less inclined to purchase gifts for co-workers this year, the survey found.

Other key points from the survey:

  • Nearly half (47%) of holiday shoppers are concerned they will have difficulty finding items this year. The top items they are worried about finding are electronics (44%), clothes (40%) and toys (28%).
  • Half (49%) will start browsing and buying before November, up from 42% in 2020 and the highest in the survey’s history. Among those shopping in October or earlier, 47% say they want to avoid the stress of last-minute shopping and another 36% do not want to miss out on key holiday items. 
  • Over half (57%) plan to purchase holiday items online this year, down from 60% who identified online as a holiday destination in 2020 and in line with pre-pandemic norms.  
  • Other top holiday shopping destinations include department stores (47%), discount stores (44%), grocery stores (43%) and clothing/accessories stores (30%). One-quarter (24%) of consumers plan to shop specifically at a local or small business.  

 



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