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Nearly One-Third of Americans Are Planning to Spend Less This Holiday Season

Nearly one-third of U.S. consumers are planning to spend less this holiday season due to inflationary concerns, according to a recent survey from consulting firm Gartner.

In fact, 28% of consumers said they will be cutting spending as a result of brands raising prices due to inflation, Gartner reported.

The firm said it surveyed 306 consumers in July 2022 and found that nearly half (48%) of consumers will start to shop in October or November this holiday season, with 16% of consumers now shopping year-round for holiday gifts.

“While consumers have increased their discretionary spending in the past few years, inflationary pressure is impacting their spending plans for this holiday season,” Kassi Socha, director analyst in the Gartner marketing practice, said in a statement. “This hesitancy around budgets, coupled with new timing from consumers regarding their holiday shopping, will challenge marketers to have an always-on approach that will stress the need for omnichannel adoption.”

With inflation remaining top-of-mind for consumers, price (65% of respondents), value (53%) and free shipping (51%) were the top three identified factors amongst holiday shoppers for their gift decision making this season.

When it comes to what specifically consumers are shopping for, holiday shoppers identified gift cards as their top category for gifts, followed by apparel and accessories, toys and games and food and beverage. Over 75% of holiday shoppers expect to see fewer, or the same amount, of discounts as last year’s holiday season.

This survey echoes similar findings from The NPD Group. Released on Monday, the market research company reported that increased negativity about the economy and personal finances is causing 29% of U.S. consumers to think about spending less this holiday season.

NPD added that while the majority of shoppers plan on spending the same or more than last year, the share of consumers who plan to spend less this year increased over last year. As a result, spending on par with 2021 levels is expected during the traditional November and December holiday shopping season, with the potential of 0.5% to 2.5% growth when the season is expanded to include October and January, NPD reported.

“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 retail industry advisor for NPD, in a statement. “Despite economic challenges, consumers still have just as many friends and family members to shop for during the holidays, they will just be spending differently.”

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