St. Louis – Most Americans will spend the same or less on holiday shopping this year as they did last year. According to a recent survey by financial services firm Edward Jones, 37% say they plan to spend less on holiday shopping in 2013 than they spent in 2012.
Another 39% say their shopping budget will be the same. Just 18% plan to spend more this year. Of Americans planning to buy holiday gifts this year (79%), 24% have already started to tackle their lists. Less than half (43%) plan to conduct their shopping before Thanksgiving, about one-quarter (26%) plan to take advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales, and one-third (32%) say they will wait until December to get started.
Respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most likely to spend more in 2013 than in 2012 (35%), while only 12% of respondents ages 35 and 44 plan to spend more. Nearly half of respondents 55 and older plan to spend the same as 2012. The survey's youngest respondents, those between the ages of 18 and 34, are far more likely to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, with one-quarter indicating they plan to do so, compared with just 13% of Americans ages 55 and older. While 89% of respondents ages 18 to 34 plan to conduct holiday shopping this year, only 64% of respondents 55 and older plan to do the same.
When taking household size into consideration, 91% of Americans with three or more individuals in their household plan to shop for the holidays this year, compared with 59% of single-person households. The trend continues between the two groups regarding their plans to conduct holiday shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. In households with three or more members, 26% say they plan to shop during those particular days, as opposed to just 11% of single-person households. In addition, almost one-third (29%) of single-person households and just 6% of households with three or more people do not plan to buy holiday gifts this year but have in the past.
“While we expect some sales growth in the retail market this holiday season, those polled expressed a conservative view on holiday spending," said Brian Yarbrough, consumer discretionary analyst for Edward Jones. "This differs from our retail forecasts for the remainder of the year. We anticipate solid numbers from most retailers with luxury players leading the charge."