Millennials, Gen Z to Spend More this Holiday Season

NORTH AMERICA–While most consumers say they will spend about the same as last year, the National Retail Federation has discovered that young adults, aged 18-24, are the most likely to show an increase in spending.

April 6, 2018

Millennials, Gen Z to Spend More this Holiday Season

The National Retail Federation also found that clothing and accessories will be the most popular category among consumers.


According to the survey, which was conducted in association with Prosper Insights & Analytics, 54 percent of consumers plan to spend about the same as last year, with 24 percent planning to spend more. However, among those aged 18-24, 46 percent say they will spend more than last year. Meanwhile, of those aged 25-34, 39 percent said they were planning to spend more.

“As Gen Z and Millennials get older, their purchasing power increases, and the rise in disposable income is sure to be seen by retailers,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “This group of consumers has spent time carefully researching gifts for friends, family and themselves, and are ready to begin knocking out their shopping lists.”

The study also found that clothing and accessories will

be purchased by 61 percent of consumers (the same as last year); while 59 percent will give gift cards (up 56 percent from last year); 44 percent will give books, music, movies or video games (the same as last year); 41 percent will give toys (down from 42 percent); 34 percent will give food or candy (up from last year’s 31 percent); and 29 percent will give electronics (down from 30 percent last year).

Furthermore, out of the 95 percent of Americans shopping for the holidays, 80 percent plan to spend time with family or friends, 63 percent plan to give or open gifts and 50 percent plan to make a special meal or festive treats. In addition, 45 percent plan to decorate their homes and 31 percent plan to attend a religious service.

In a new question this year, the NRF found that 38 percent of consumers plan to donate money to a charity or cause and 37 percent plan to donate items, including holiday meals. Of those donating, 80 percent said it would have no effect on their overall holiday spending.

“With an additional full shopping weekend this December, consumers will have plenty of time to browse and complete their holiday purchasing, whether it’s gifts for others or décor for their homes,” says Pam Goodfellow, principal analyst, Prosper Insights. “Gift cards continue to be a popular low-risk option for gift givers, and this year we’re seeing food increase in favor as well. As Americans look to celebrate with even more of the special people in their lives, food serves as a great way to come together.”

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