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U.S. Election to Effect Holiday Shopping

U.S. Election to Effect Holiday Shopping

With the U.S. election falling in the middle of the holiday shopping season, many consumers say they will have a more conservative spending budget this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

The NRF’s survey also found consumers plan to spend an average of $139.61 on personal shopping.

With the U.S. election falling in the middle of the holiday shopping season, many consumers say they will have a more conservative spending budget this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

The survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, found that consumers plan to spend an average of $935.58 during the shopping season, down from last year’s record $952.58.

“Everywhere you turn–whether you’re picking up a newspaper or watching television–political advertisements are taking up ad space that retailers typically use to get holiday shopping on the minds of consumers across the country,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Once the election has passed, we anticipate consumers will pull themselves out of the election doldrums and into the holiday spirit.”

In a separate NRF poll conducted last week, more than a quarter of consumers believe the election will impact their spending plans for the holidays. Meanwhile, 43 percent say they are being more cautious due to the uncertainty of the election season.

“Retailers should prepare for a rush of consumers in the weeks following the presidential election as they get more economic and political certainty and are looking to take advantage of promotions and deals that are too good to pass up for their friends, family and even themselves,” says Shay.

Beyond the election, the NRF’s survey found that 58 percent of consumers plan to buy for themselves, spending an average of $139.61, up 4 percent from last year’s $133.74 and marking the second-highest level of personal spending in the survey’s 13-year history.

When it comes to gifts for others, consumers say they will spend $588.90 as well as $207.07 on items such as food, decorations, flowers and greeting cards.

Additionally, consumers will do most of their holiday shopping at three destinations: department stores (57 percent), online (57 percent) and discount stores (56 percent). The survey also found 45 percent plan to visit a grocery store/supermarket, 34 percent will shop at clothing stores, 27 percent at electronics stores and 23 percent at small or local businesses.

Gift cards also remain among the most popular gifts, pursued by 61 percent of those surveyed, followed by clothing and accessories (54 percent); books, CDs, DVDs or videos (40 percent, the lowest in survey history), consumer electronics (32 percent), jewelry and home décor (both 23 percent), personal care (21 percent), sporting goods (19 percent) and home improvement products (17 percent).

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