Though tariffs on a variety of goods from China went into effect last month, Shay notes that retailers imported a record amount of products this summer ahead of the implementation, and he expects the impact on pricing to be minimal.
Holiday shoppers are planning to spread their shopping across a variety of channels with an equal amount (55 percent) set to shop online and in department stores; 51 percent are looking to discount stores; 44 percent to grocery stores; 33 percent to clothing
Half of those shopping online say they will opt for in-store pickup. Among online shoppers who want their packages delivered to their home or office, 94 percent will take advantage of free shipping; 16 percent will expedite shipping; and 11 percent will use same-day delivery. Sixty percent of holiday shoppers are putting spending on hold until November; 21 percent will start in October; and another 18 percent have reported shopping in September or earlier.
Of the early group, 61 percent are attempting to spread out their budgets while 47 percent want to avoid the crowds and stress of last-minute shopping. The latest survey follows the NRF’s annual holiday spending forecast, which predicts that holiday retail sales in November and December will be up between 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent over 2017 for a total between $717.45 billion and $720.89 billion.
In choosing a particular retailer, sales and discounts were cited as the reigning factor by 71 percent; quality and selection of merchandise were cited by 60 percent; free shipping was cited by 47 percent; and convenient locations was cited by 45 percent.
“Consumers will be scouring through retailers’ ads to make sure they are getting the best deal possible,” says Phil Rist, executive vice president, Prosper Insights. “Although sales will remain an important factor, shoppers want good quality and want to be able to find what they’re looking for.”
For the 12th year in a row the most requested present was a gift card at 60 percent. Other top categories inlcude clothing and accessories at 53 percent; books/movies/music at 37 percent; electronics at 29 percent; home décor at 23 percent; jewelry at 22 percent; personal care or beauty items at 19 percent; sporting goods at 18 percent; and home improvement items at 17 percent.
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