Holiday Spending in the Final Stretch

While holiday spending in November and early December remained solid, the National Retail Federation's researcher last week noted that its confidence numbers for December were the worst the organization had seen in five years.

“The consumers are under stress,” said Phil Rist, vp of strategy for the Columbus, Ohio-based agency BigResearch.

BigResearch, which polls more than 7,000 consumers monthly, did say however that December confidence numbers were consistent with November — which proved to be a healthy shopping month.

Going into 2008, Rist said, consumers will be more focused on practicality, with 35.6% planning to pay down debt during the first quarter of the new year. Rist expects the spending fallout to impact moderate businesses.

Looking at the final 12 days of holiday shopping, Rist on Dec. 13 presented research about the top three gift categories consumers plan to purchase: apparel 57.7%, entertainment/books/music, 57.1%, and gift cards 56.6%.

“The gift card juggernaut just continues,” said Rist, who said cards have become so popular because they put the recipient in charge.

Gift cards have also allowed businesses that are not traditionally holiday merchandisers to grab a share of holiday money, he said. Indeed, while 38% of consumers plan to purchase department store gift cards — the leading gift card category — 27% plan to purchase restaurant gift cards.

Only 15% of consumers plan to purchase discount store gift cards — No. 5 on the gift card list. Home improvement store gift cards came in at No. 10, and home furnishings stores did not make the top 10 list for gift cards.

Home & Textiles Today Staff | News & Commentary

 Home Textiles Today is the market-leading brand covering the home and textiles markets, offering a comprehensive package of print and online products. Home & Textiles Today provides industry news, product trends and introductions, exclusive industry research, consumer data, store operations solutions, trade show news and much more.

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HTT Cover October 2017

See the October 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Top 25 Online Retailers.  H&TT's exclusive annual ranking of the biggest online sellers of home textiles finds that while pure play etailers continue to fly, bricks & clicks are digging into omnichannel. See details!