Holiday Spending to Increase

What Consumers Plan to Buy for Holiday 2013
    2013 2012
1 Clothing 41% 41%
2 Toys 31% 30%
3 Movies/DVDs 21% 20%
4 Fragrances 15% 15%
5 Video Gaming Systems or Video Games 14% 12%
6 Small Personal Accessories 12% 11%
7 Footwear 11% 9%
8 Housewares 9% 8%
9 Sporting Goods/Equipment 8% 9%
10 Electronics 6% 5%

U.S. consumers will spend more this holiday season, but plan to start early and seek out better deals, according to The NPD Group’s 12th annual holiday spending survey.

“Consumers are feeling better about the economy compared to last year, and they plan to take advantage of sales during key periods,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, NPD. “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.”

The majority of respondents (79 percent) say they plan to spend the same or more as they spent last year, with the number of people who say they will spend less decreasing from 23 percent in 2012 to 21 percent.

Consumers’ purchasing plans are similar to last year, with the same top 10 items on their holiday shopping list (see table on right).

“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,” says Cohen.

Overall, the holiday shopping season will get off to an earlier start compared to last year with more consumers (39 percent compared to 37 percent in 2012) planning to start before Thanksgiving. 

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