Consumers To Reduce Holiday Gift Spending, NPD Says

Results from its annual Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey found that shoppers will be tightening their grips on their wallets in the face of economic challenges.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
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Holiday shopping

Consumer spending this year for holiday gifts will be less than in 2021 as concerns over high prices and the nation’s economic health will see shoppers tightening their belts.

According to The NPD Group’s annual Holiday Purchase Intentions study, consumers surveyed said they expect to spend $760 on average this year versus their 2021 planned spending of $785. Additionally, 82% of survey respondents said they expect to spend more or the same as last year, down 5% from the same survey in 2021.

"Consumers are ready to get out and celebrate over the 2022 holiday season, but last year’s optimism has taken a beating as financial concerns have them feeling a bit more grinchy this year,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, retail, with NPD. 

Early season shopping for holiday gifts remains the norm this year, with about half of respondents saying they will be getting gifts prior to Thanksgiving. Another approximately 30% said they will do their shopping in the time frame around Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

One surprise in the NPD study pertains to consumer shopping behavior. This year, 80% of respondents said they will shop online for gifts, down from 85% from 2021. While the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 drove more consumers to online shopping, the dip in online shopping could be the result of consumers wanting to get out and enjoy the experience of shopping in-person for gifts.

While consumers say they expect to spend less on gifts, one thing they won’t be cutting back on is home celebrations. In this year’s survey, 62% said they will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner while 56% said they will host Christmas dinner. Both figures are inline with 2021. Additionally, 52% said they are less concerned about COVID-19, a jump of more than 20 points from last year