FINANCE

Survey: Holiday shoppers will spend same or less

BY Dan Berthiaume

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."


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OPERATIONS

Report: Toys ‘R’ Us opens 5 p.m. Thanksgiving

BY Dan Berthiaume

Wayne, N.J. – The time may have come to change the name of Black Friday to Black Thursday. According to multiple media reports, Toys ‘R’ Us will open stores at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving night.

Reports of Toys ‘R’ Us getting a jump on Black Friday in-store sales are based on statements in the retailer’s weekly advertising circular released Monday, Nov. 4. This marks the fifth year Toys ‘R’ Us has opened its doors on Thanksgiving. Last year the retailer opened stores at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving night. Other major chains letting customers shop their stores on Thanksgiving this year include Sears, Kmart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and J.C. Penney.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Whole Foods Market teams with Etsy

BY Dan Berthiaume

Austin, Texas — Starting in November, Whole Foods Market stores nationwide will host DIY craft tutorials, with local artists from Etsy’s seller community. Shoppers can also find exclusive step-by-step DIY projects from Etsy’s creative community in Whole Foods Market’s 2013 Holiday Guide, available in stores and online.

“With packed holiday schedules, homemade holiday entertaining can seem out of reach for some shoppers,” said Barry Hirsch, global partnerships director for Whole Foods Market. “Thanks to Etsy, we’ve developed the perfect recipe of creative ingredients, both DIY and food, to help shoppers see how easy, fun and affordable it can be to add a personal touch to their holiday celebrations.”

As part of the partnership, Etsy’s holiday page will feature artist profiles, products and shops curated specially for Whole Foods Market shoppers. Similarly, Whole Foods Market’s holiday site will feature exclusive Etsy content.

“Etsy looks for partnerships that bring our seller community to the forefront and celebrate their skills and creativity,” said Dana Mauriello, director of new business opportunities at Etsy. “Together, Whole Foods Market and the Etsy community can share ideas to create the best handmade holiday.”


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