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New survey shows holiday spending will increase

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Optimism about the economy is kindling holiday cheer as shoppers plan to spend more this year and tech-savvy shoppers have even higher spending expectations, according to Deloitte's 29th annual holiday survey.

Among the findings:

Holiday spending to increase — consumers who shop across store, mobile and online channels are expected to spend more than single-channel shoppers

  • Total holiday spending is predicted to increase by 13 percent to $1,299 per household, and includes gifts, socializing away from home, entertaining at home, non-gift clothing for family or self, home/holiday furnishings, and any other holiday-related spending not in the other categories.
  • Spending on just gifts is expected to rise by 9 percent to $458 this year, from $421 last year.
  • Consumers who shop across store, mobile and online channels are expected to spend 66 percent more on gifts than those shopping stores only, $592 versus $357.
  • The number of gifts consumers expect to purchase increased to 13.4, up from 12.9 in 2013, but nearly 10 gifts less than the high of 23.1 in 2007.

Consumers prefer shopping the Internet and discount/value stores this holiday season

  • The Internet and discount/value stores once again rank as the top shopping venues this year, with the Internet No. 1 for the second straight year.  Nearly half (45 percent) plan to shop online, followed closely by 44 percent at discount/value stores. 
  • In-store purchases are expected to account for 52 percent of the holiday budget.
  • Consumers expect to make an average of five (4.6) trips to traditional "brick-and-mortar" stores during the holiday season.
  • Clothing remains the No. 1 item consumers plan to purchase as a gift, cited by 45 percent of respondents; gift cards (43 percent) continue to hold the No. 2 position, but are down from a high of 69 percent in 2007.  
  • The top two gifts respondents would like to receive are gift cards (37 percent) followed by cash (35 percent).
  • More than two-thirds (68 percent) plan to "shop local" this year, with the No. 1 reason, "To support the local economy"; and the No. 2 reason, "To find one-of-a-kind gifts."  In the survey, "local retail stores" are defined as small businesses, independent retailers or boutique shops which are not part of national chains.

Shoppers appear undeterred by reported data breaches

  • More than half (55 percent) of respondents indicate they are concerned about the protection of their personal data when shopping online and 42 percent have the same concerns in-store. 
  • Though there is concern for personal data when shopping both online and in-store, 56 percent indicated they will continue to shop this holiday season at retailers that have experienced a data breach.
  • Nearly four in 10 (36 percent) indicated "I am more likely to shop at a retailer who provides me education surrounding the security of my personal data."

December shaping up to be another busy month for retailers; Nearly 70 percent of shoppers "webrooming"

  • Forty-three percent of respondents will do a majority of their holiday shopping in December or later, an increase of 6 percentage points from 2013.
  • Almost seven in 10 (68 percent) indicated they will go online to look at an item, then go to a store to see it and buy it in the store ("webrooming").
  • Nearly half (49 percent) indicated they will go to a store to look at an item, then search online for the best price and then purchase online ("showrooming").
  • Roughly three-quarters (74 percent) of shoppers say they will be influenced by coupons/promotions.
  • Consumers plan to take advantage of a number of retailer offerings this year, including free shipping (68 percent), free returns (52 percent), price matching (45 percent), extended holiday hours (35 percent), order online for pick up in-store (34 percent) and free layaway (16 percent).
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of shoppers say they do not rely on Black Friday as much as they used to for holiday shopping. 

Alison Paul, vice chairman and retail sector leader for Deloitte LLP, said, "With the short, 27-day shopping stretch between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, retailers need to be sharp with their promotional timing, inventory management and distribution capabilities. Retailers that can fulfill orders from both online distribution centers and store inventories, for example, may be more nimble and poised to respond quickly to pockets of high demand for certain gifts — and ensure timely holiday deliveries."

Paul added, "Despite concerns about the security of personal information, shoppers also appear resilient to reported data breaches and desire to still shop with affected retailers. Retailers should benefit from this optimism and expression of loyalty, but need to stay vigilant as a spike in transactional activity around the holiday season comes with increased vulnerability."

For more information about Deloitte's Annual Holiday Survey, please read the full survey report or follow us@DeloitteCB. An infographic and complete survey results are also available for download.


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