According to the survey, conducted in association with Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average person buying graduation gifts will spend $102.51, which on par with last year’s $104.92. Total spending is expected to reach $5.2 billion, the third-highest number in the survey’s 12-year history, following the record $5.6 billion set last year and $5.4 billion in 2016.
“Graduation is a huge milestone for students and parents alike, and retailers are ready to help make it even more memorable,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Cash might be the most popular item, but an assortment of graduation gifts from greeting cards and gift cards to clothing and electronics will tempt shoppers.”
The NRF also found that cash will once again be the most popular gift, given by 55 percent of those survey. Greeting cards follow at 43 perfect, gift cards at 32 percent, apparel at 14 percent and electronics at 10 percent.
Of those ages 18-24, 45 percent plan to give a gift to other graduates, spending an average of $73.87. However, the biggest spending, $119.86, comes from those ages 45-54, many of which have a child at home. Those in the grandparent bracket of 65 and above are expected to give an average of $107.15.
“One growing trend we have noticed year over year is the fact that peers continue to give gifts to each other,” says Phil Rist, executive vice president, strategy, Prosper Insights. “Most prefer to give cash, along with the quintessential graduation gift card, to celebrate the new grad.”