5 Facts About Holiday Shopping You Need to Know Now

Macy's Holiday Windows
Macy's 2016 holiday window unveiling.
Courtesy Image.

We are less than 24 hours away from the official start of the holiday shopping season, and Footwear News has rounded up all of the major projections that retailers and consumers need to know now.

Read on for the facts.

  • When Shopping Begins

Nearly six in 10 Americans — an estimated 137.4 million people — plan to shop or are considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey. But the NRF also found that 55.7 percent of shoppers have already started buying holiday gifts.

  • How Much People Will Spend

The NRF estimates that holiday sales will hit $656 billion this year, a 3.6 percent increase year-over-year — topping both the 10-year and seven-year average. That works out to an average spend of $935.58 per person during the holiday shopping season in 2016.

  • Who Are They Spending Their Money On

Nearly six in 10 plan to buy for themselves, spending an average $139.61, up 4 percent from last year and marking the second-highest level of personal spending in the survey’s 13-year history, according to the NRF. Nearly everyone plans to spend money on their family members, while 71 percent of the NRF’s survey participants indicated that they intend to buy gifts for friends and 33 percent plan to include their co-workers on their shopping list.

  • What Will People Buy

Laptops and tablets are still a popular choice, according to EBates, with 44 percent of adults and 47 percent of teens choosing a new laptop or tablet as the gift they most want to receive this year. Gift cards also remain a preference for many gift recipients. According to retail consulting firm HRC Advisory, among those with a preference, 62 percent would rather receive a gift card than an actual gift. Among Gen Z shoppers, this number is even higher — 69 percent.

  • Where Will They Shop

Data shows more consumers will head online this year, but brick-and-mortar is also expected to see some gains as brick-and-click retailers seek to create synergies between their physical stores and e-commerce sites. Department stores are expected to be the top performers as well as online shopping, up 6.8 percent year-over-year, according to the NRF. Approximately 1 in 10 shoppers is expected to head to outlets this year.