NRF: Consumer holiday spending to pick up 3.4%

One quarter of consumers include home décor on wish lists

Washington – Consumers expect to spend 3.4% more this holiday season over last year, and that will include home décor and improvement.

According to a newly released NRF report, 7,349 consumers surveyed from October 3 to 10 said their holiday budget is $967.13 compared to the $935.58 they said they expected to spend a year ago.

“With employment and incomes increasing, consumers are more confident this year and that is reflected in their buying plans for the holidays,” explained NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay.

Holiday spending comes in three main categories: Gifts, at $608.06; items such as food, decorations, flowers and greeting cards, at $218.08; and other non-gift items consumers buy for themselves and their families, at $140.99.

In addition, 24% of consumers have “home décor” on their wish lists, the survey found. And 18% listed “home improvement.”

Gift cards, requested by 61%, remain the most popular gift, now for the 11 th consecutive year. In second place is clothing and accessories at 55%, which is the highest level the category has seen in 12 years.

Two in five consumers, or 39%, would like books, music or movies, the lowest in survey history. Other categories on the list include consumer electronics (33%), jewelry (23%), personal care or beauty items (21%), and sporting goods (20%).

For the first time in survey history, and not surprisingly, online is the most popular shopping destination, cited by 59% of surveyed consumers. Most of these shoppers will take advantage of free shipping (94%) and conveniences like “buy online, pick up in store” (49%). In addition, 19% will take advantage of expedited shipping and 12% will use same-day delivery.

Consumers said they will also shop at: department stores (57%), discount stores (54%), grocery stores/supermarkets (46%), clothing or accessories stores (35%), electronics stores (27%), small or local businesses (25%), and crafts or fabrics stores (18%).

Timing is another aspect of the survey. Most consumers (59%) are waiting until at least November to begin holiday shopping. However, 22% started or were planning to start in October and 19% in September or earlier. Of the early shoppers, 65% said they are trying to spread out their budgets while 49% do not want the stress of last-minute shopping and 48% want to avoid the crowds.

About one-fifth, or 27%, of surveyed consumers said their spending will be impacted by concerns about the nation’s economy, down from 32% during 2016, and the lowest level since NRF began asking the question during the Great Recession in 2009, the organization noted.

The consumer survey comes on the heels of NRF’s annual holiday spending forecast, which projects holiday retail sales in November/December period will increase 3.6% to 4.0%, or $678.8 billion and $682 billion, this year.

In addition, NRF continued, imports set an all-time record high late this summer as retailers brought in an unprecedented amount of merchandise in anticipation of a strong holiday season.

Home Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

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