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PwC US: Top 10 trends that will drive holiday shopping

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Cautious spending and economic realities that are bifurcating the American holiday shopper into two distinct segments are two of the 10 trends that are expected to drive the 2014 holiday shopping season, according to a new report from PwC US and Strategy.

The report, “2014 Holiday Outlook: Top trends, consumer behaviors and implications for retailers,” projects an average holiday household spend of $684, down from $735 in 2013, with survey respondents expressing concerns of disposable income, the rising cost of living, and insufficient salary.

In other trends, retailers should expect more channel fragmentation as shoppers budget not only their dollars, but their time. Also, shoppers plan to shop at multiple stores as well as websites. Mass merchants, department stores and major online retailers are at the top of their planned destinations.

The study notes that in-store retailing is expected to turn holiday shopping into a much more memorable and entertaining experience for shoppers with the additions of cheerful décor, popular music, artisan foods and kid-friendly attractions.

Further, efficiency and smart logistics will be key to ensuring a hassle-free experience for shoppers who do visit stores. Expect to see retailers roll out efforts such as traffic engineering, parking assistance, valet services and shuttles from transit stops.

For a more complete listing of the top 10 trends, click here.

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