Clothing, Gift Cards Top Choices This Coming Holiday Season

October 15, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Retail & E-Commerce

Just as in 2011, clothing and gift cards lead as the most popular planned gift choices this holiday season, according to newly released result from a PriceGrabber survey. Roughly 2 in 3 respondents plan to give clothing as gifts, and 49% plan to give gift cards. Also among the leading gift choices are books, CDs, DVDs or video games (41%), shoes and hobby-related items (29%), jewelry (28%), and food or candy (24%). About 1 in 5 will give sporting goods (21%) and cosmetics, spa packages or beauty-related gifts (17%).

The PriceGrabber survey is of online shopping consumers, but these consumers name several potential destinations for their purchases this year. When asked which types of stores they will use to shop for holiday gifts, the largest proportion selected online retailers (75%) and discount stores (74%). Other popular destinations include traditional department stores (49%), local independent retailers (41%), and electronics stores (36%). While clothing is a top gift choice, only about 1 in 4 plan to shop at clothing stores.

Spending Intentions Not Too Rosy

54% of the PriceGrabber survey respondents report that they will spend $500 or more on gifts this season, up slightly over 2011. While those figures seems relatively healthy, NPD Group’s 11th annual survey of consumers’ holiday spending intentions revealed that just 1 in 10 consumers intend to spend more this holiday season than last. While the proportion who plan to spend less (23%) is down from last year’s 27%, that still means that more than twice as many consumers plan to spend less than more this year.

MarketLive in survey results also released this month finds that consumers will spend about the same amount on holiday gifts in 2012 as in 2011, and that value and price are most influential in selecting merchants. 87% named good value as most or somewhat important in selecting a merchant, and 85% named price.

More Consumers Depend On Black Friday than Cyber Monday

More consumers this year will count on “Black Friday” deals (the day after Thanksgiving), in other results from PriceGrabber. While 29% of respondents last year believed that the best deals were available on that day, 33% believe the same this year. (Black Friday falls on November 23 this year.) Another 23% of respondents believe the best deals are available in the month of December, while 16% believe the same about “Cyber Monday,” the Monday following Thanksgiving (on November 26 this year).

Majority Will Buy On Credit

Some 60% of respondents plan to pay for gift purchases with credit cards, more than those who will use their savings (53%). Another 13% plan to use their bonus checks from work, and about 1 in 10 will use layaway (11%) and gift cards (9%).

The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts a fairly healthy holiday season, with retail sales growing 4.1% year-over-year to reach $586.1 billion. That rate is down from actual growth in 2011 and 2010 (both at 5.6%), but is above the trailing 10-year average sales increase of 3.3%.

About The Data: The PriceGrabber survey was conducted from August 31 to Sept. 12, 2012, and includes responses from 2,235 U.S. online shopping consumers. The MarketLive survey was conducted by the e-tailing group and received more than 1,000 responses.

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