Consumers in Holiday Spirit

Washington, D.C., Consumers will be feeling the holiday spirit this year, according to the findings of the latest National Retail Federation (NRF) survey. The NRF 2005 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Action Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that the average consumer plans to spend $738.11 this holiday season, up 5.1% from the previous year. Consumers will spend an additional $86.62 on themselves. The survey is in line with NRF’s holiday sales forecast, announced last month, which expects total holiday retail sales to increase 5.0% over last year to $435.3 billion.

The survey found that consumers plan to shop at a variety of outlets for their holiday gifts this year, with discounters (71.4%) and department stores (59.4%) once again the top destinations. On-line shopping continues to grow in popularity, with 42.6% of consumers planning to purchase gifts on line, up from 38.3% last year. More than one-third of consumers (37.9% said that sales or price discounts are the important factor in their decision to purchase from a particular store.

Books, CDs, DVDs, videos and video games remain the most popular gift items, according to the survey, with 55.5% of consumers hoping to receive something in that category. Apparel is another gift favorite, with 54.5% of consumers hoping to receive clothing or accessories this year. Other popular items include gift cards (52.5%), electronics (38.4%), jewelry (26.4%) and home decor (23.3%).

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