Port Washington, N.Y., December 21, 2021 – From head to toe, U.S. consumers are indulging in fashion and beauty-related gifts for themselves this holiday season. Findings from an NPD Group survey, conducted in conjunction with partner CivicScience, found that among the consumers who plan to buy a gift for themselves during the holidays, half (51%) expect to buy apparel, followed by accessories at 35%, and beauty and footwear products at 31%. The survey also revealed that as of last week, nearly one-quarter of holiday shoppers had yet to begin shopping – keeping the door open for more self-gifting opportunities.

“Self-gifting is especially relevant across the fashion categories, as consumers look to treat themselves and welcome the return of in-person gatherings after putting many of these wardrobe purchases on the backburner during the onset of the pandemic,” said Maria Rugolo, apparel industry analyst for NPD. “Marketers have a special opportunity to capture consumers looking to bring holiday cheer, not only to others but also to themselves.”

In the beauty industry, sales of fragrances in December comprise over 60% of the category’s fourth quarter revenue, according to NPD point-of-sale data. Revenue during Christmas week can be anywhere from 25%, to over 100%, higher than any week prior. “Self-indulgence and self-care have motivated beauty purchases throughout the past year, and the holiday season is no exception,” said Larissa Jensen, NPD beauty industry advisor. “Recognizing the opportunities, retail merchandising on the beauty floor during the holiday season often encourages self-gifting, not only for fragrance but other beauty categories, as well.”

When it comes to handbags and fashion footwear products, sales typically peak the week before Christmas (i.e. Super Saturday week). For the past two years, the last two weeks of December were the best performing weeks of the year, in terms of year-over-year growth. “With consumers engaging in more social events this holiday season compared to last and anticipating a return to more pre-pandemic behaviors in 2022 including travel and other experiential activities, this will drive spending across fashion footwear and accessories categories, especially when it comes to dress footwear, handbags, and luggage – both for ourselves and as gifts,” said Beth Goldstein, fashion footwear and accessories analyst at NPD.

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