NPD Group: Holiday shoppers to spend more; seek out deals

Port Washington, N.Y. -- The majority of consumers intend to spend the same as or more than last year, with fewer saying they plan to spend less, according to The NPD Group’s Holiday Spending Survey, the twelfth annual survey of consumers’ holiday spending intentions.

“Consumers are feeling better about the economy compared to last year and they plan to take advantage of sales during key periods,” said Marshall Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group.  “But this year’s holiday will be a tricky one for retailers. With fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Government distractions, and lack of newness in the marketplace, retailers will have to rely more on promotions to excite the consumer.”

Comparison shopping and comparing prices online remain consumers’ top pre-purchase actions. One-third of consumers plan to buy all of their holiday gifts on sale.

Overall, the holiday shopping season will get off to an earlier start compared to last year. According to the report, this year more consumers have already started, or will start shopping before Thanksgiving.

“Consumers who plan to shop early expect the retailers to respond with extended store hours, and better deals offered earlier,” said Cohen.

Consumers’ purchasing plans are similar to last year, with the same Top 10 items on their holiday shopping list.

“With no new trendy items besides some updated versions of the same hot products from past years, consumers will not shop with fear due to lack of inventory. The must-have items will also be available at a wider variety of retailers, minimizing the panic shopping of years past,” said Cohen.

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