Survey: 44 percent of consumers plan to go grocery shopping during holidays
Consumers say they will spend an average of $1,007.24 during the holiday season this year, up 4.1 percent from the $967.13 they said they would spend last year, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
“Confidence is near an all-time high, unemployment is the lowest we’ve seen in decades and take-home wages are up,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay in a press release detailing the survey. “All of that is reflected in consumers’ buying plans. Retailers expect strong demand this year, and are prepared with a wide array of merchandise while offering strong deals and promotions during the busiest and most competitive shopping season of the year period.”
Consumers will spend in three main categories during the holidays — gifts, at $637.67; non-gift holiday items such as food, decorations, flowers and greeting cards, at $215.04; and other non-gift purchases that take advantage of the deals and promotions throughout the season, at $154.53.
Holiday shoppers are planning to spread their shopping across multiple channels and types of stores, according to the survey. Forty-four percent plan to go to grocery stores, which could bode well for private-branded consumer packaged goods.
The consumer survey comes on top of NRF’s annual holiday spending forecast, which takes into account a variety of economic factors to project overall spending rather than per-consumer spending. The forecast estimated that holiday retail sales in November and December will be up between 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent over 2017 for a total between $717.45 billion and $720.89 billion.
Tariffs on a wide range of consumer goods from China took effect last month, but Shay noted that retailers imported record volumes of merchandise ahead of the tariffs this summer and said any effect on pricing during the holiday season is expected to be minimal.