Consumers Likely To Trim Holiday Spending, Per NPD Group

A new report from The NPD Group found that more shoppers will be on the hunt for deals and are likely to start shopping for gifts earlier this year.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Holiday Shopping

Consumers remain concerned about inflation and an overwhelming majority said they have or plan to cut back spending as they face high prices, according to data from The NPD Group.

In an August consumer survey conducted by NPD, nearly 80% of respondents said they are reducing expenditures. Restaurant dining is the top cutback category, while apparel ranked second, and air travel/road trips were third on the list. 

Also, 43% of consumers surveyed said they would be spending less this holiday season vs. 2021, with half saying they will be looking for more sales and 50% planning to start their shopping earlier. 

“Seasonal spending is spreading out as consumers focus on getting what they need in the moment,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry advisor for NPD. “Retailers and manufacturers should prepare for Holiday 2022 to follow suit with an elongated shopping season and consumers shopping prudently to account for higher prices across retail.”

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been the top two holiday shopping days for each of the past three years, with or without pandemic interruptions, according to Checkout, NPD’s consumer receipt-based information. 

While 2020 was chock-full of retail interruptions, it was Amazon’s introduction of a Prime Day in October that made a mark on the top holiday shopping days, taking the #3 spot. In 2019 and 2021, the third most popular holiday shopping day landed on a Saturday in December.

“The anticipation of another set of promotional events from Amazon, Target, and other retailers this October, combined with this year’s trend of elongated retail shopping seasons, lower peaks in sales results, and the consumer’s interest in getting a good deal, early promotions will once again capture significant attention,” said Cohen. 

Simultaneously, more normalcy is resurfacing, Cohen added. Excitement to get into stores for the deal-hunting consumers have missed over the past two years is capable of sparking increased activity for retailers who create a sense of urgency around the more traditional peak days for in-store traffic