Holiday Shoppers Hold Out for Deals

Shoppers are taking their time in hopes of deeper discounts over the Thanksgiving weekend and late in the season, according to National Retail Federation.

April 6, 2018

Holiday Shoppers Hold Out for Deals

Shoppers are taking their time getting started in hopes of deeper discounts over the Thanksgiving weekend and late in the season, according to National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending survey.

A little less than half (45.6 percent) of holiday shoppers say they haven’t started shopping yet, relatively flat with last year’s 46.2 percent, but the lowest in the survey’s seven-year history. 

“Many consumers are going to wait and see how great the promotions will be later this season before making any commitments,” says Matthew Shaw, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Retailers have reacted to this ‘wait and see’ mentality with fewer October deals and a much quieter entry into November, when we’ll start to see retailers ramp up with offers for exclusive merchandise, deep discounts and unique online savings opportunities.” 

The survey also found that while slightly fewer people have yet to start shopping, 20.6 percent have finished 10 percent or less of their shopping, while

12.4 percent have completed about one-quarter of their lists. 

Apparel, toys and video games will be popular gift items this year. Six in 10 (60.9 percent) will buy clothing and accessories; 46.3 percent will buy books, CDs, DVDs and video games; and two in five (42 percent) will buy toys. Likely having loaded up on wearable technology items and new smartphones throughout the year, slightly fewer people will buy electronic items as gifts (30.7 percent vs. 33 percent in 2013).

Jewelry is at 24 percent, the highest percent since 2006, while gift cards continue as a favorite for both shoppers and recipients as six in 10 (60 percent) will buy gift cards, similar to the 59.2 percent who planned to do so last year. 

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