The NPD Group’s Annual Holiday Spending Survey Reveals US Consumers Plan To Spend More But Will Seek Out Better Deals This Holiday Season


Port Washington, NY, October 15, 2013 – The NPD Group, Inc., a global information company, released the results of its Holiday Spending Survey, the twelfth annual survey of consumers’ holiday spending intentions. According to the report, the majority of consumers intend to spend the same as or more than last year, with fewer saying they plan to spend less.

US Consumers’ Spending Intentions
2013 vs. 2012

  2013 2012
Plan to Spend More 12% 10%
Plan to Spend About The Same 67% 67%
Plan to Spend Less 21% 23%

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Holiday Spending Survey

“Consumers are feeling better about the economy compared to last year and they plan to take advantage of sales during key periods,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “But this year’s holiday will be a tricky one for retailers. With fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Government distractions, and lack of newness in the marketplace, retailers will have to rely more on promotions to excite the consumer.”

Comparison shopping and comparing prices online remain consumers’ top pre-purchase actions. One-third of consumers plan to buy all of their holiday gifts on sale.

US Consumers’ Purchase Drivers
2013 vs. 2012

  2013 2012
Special sale price 57% 56%
Overall value for the price 56% 54%
Free shipping 42% 39%
Carries unique products or brands 17% 15%

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Holiday Spending Survey

Consumers’ purchasing plans are similar to last year, with the same top 10 items on their holiday shopping list. “With no new trendy items besides some updated versions of the same hot products from past years, consumers will not shop with fear due to lack of inventory. The must-have items will also be available at a wider variety of retailers, minimizing the panic shopping of years past,” said Cohen.

What Products Consumers Plan To Buy For Holiday 2013

    2013 2012
1 Clothing 41% 41%
2 Toys 31% 30%
3 Movies/DVDs 21% 20%
4 Fragrances 15% 15%
5 Video Gaming Systems or Video Games 14% 12%
6 Small Personal Accessories 12% 11%
7 Footwear 11% 9%
8 Housewares 9% 8%
9 Sporting Goods/Equipment 8% 9%
10 Electronics 6% 5%

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Holiday Spending Survey

Overall, the holiday shopping season will get off to an earlier start compared to last year. According to the NPD Annual Holiday Spending Survey, this year more consumers have already started, or will start shopping before Thanksgiving. “Consumers who plan to shop early expect the retailers to respond with extended store hours, and better deals offered earlier,” said Cohen.

US Consumers’ Shopping Timeline
2013 vs. 2012

  2013 2012
Already Started 17% 16%
Before Thanksgiving 22% 21%

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Holiday Spending Survey

The online channel grew 5 percent compared to last year. High-income consumers, earning $75,000 or over, are more likely to shop this year on e-commerce sites. By comparison, other channels remained stable.

Where Consumers Plan To Shop For Holiday 2013

    2013 2012
1 Discount Stores
(i.e. Kmart, Target, Walmart)
52% 50%
2 Online 43% 38%
3 National Chains
(i.e. Sears, JC Penney, Kohl's)
29% 28%
4 Department Stores
(i.e. Macy's, Bloomingdales, Belk)
22% 23%
5 Toy Stores 19% 19%
6 Warehouse Clubs
(i.e. Costco, BJ's, Sam's Club)
18% 17%
7 Outlet Stores 17% 17%
8 Electronics Stores 17% 17%
9 Clothing Specialty Stores
(i.e. Gap, Victoria's Secret, etc.)
15% 16%
10 Off-Price Retailers
(i.e. Marshall’s, TJMaxx, etc.)
15% 15%

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Holiday Spending Survey

“Researching online for the best deals will play a bigger role this year with social media continuing to influence consumers’ holiday purchases,” said Cohen. “The expansion of Black Friday weekend deals will also be a major player in the discount offerings. Look for promotions to start well ahead of Black Friday to create a much greater consumer opportunity for stores and online.”

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