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Holiday Shopping - US - July 2011

"Spending" includes all retail sales of gifts, cards, decorations, and foods, as well as money spent on dining out during certain holidays, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day.

Consumer expenditures for the following 15 holidays are included in this report:

New Year’s
Valentine’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day
Easter
Mother’s Day
Memorial Day
Father’s Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Ramadan—Eid
Halloween
Thanksgiving*
Hanukkah
Christmas*
Kwanzaa

* in its data, the National Retail Federation often combines Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa and categorizes them as the "winter holidays."

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • Slow growth in anticipated holiday expenditures
                        • The economy suppresses spending; Hispanic population growth a plus
                          • Unstable consumer confidence
                            • Unemployment still high
                              • Household incomes on the decline
                                • Increases in Hispanic population and spending power represent opportunity
                                  • Holiday spending by occasion
                                    • Valentine’s Day
                                      • St. Patrick’s Day
                                        • Easter
                                          • Mother’s Day
                                            • Father’s Day
                                              • Halloween
                                                • The winter holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa
                                                  • Top holiday retailers and their marketing strategies
                                                    • Top gifting holidays
                                                      • Top card holidays
                                                        • Cooking at home for the holidays
                                                          • Alcoholic beverages and the holiday party
                                                            • Decorating for the holidays
                                                              • Holiday activities: shopping in-store vs. online
                                                                • Holiday activities: traditional mail vs. eCards
                                                                  • Holiday activities: baking/cooking
                                                                    • Spending
                                                                      • How early does winter holiday shopping start?
                                                                        • Holiday attitudes and expectations
                                                                          • Purchase locations
                                                                            • Motivations to shop elsewhere
                                                                              • Impact of race/Hispanic origin
                                                                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                                                                • Holiday apps abound
                                                                                  • Safety first
                                                                                    • Shop smarter
                                                                                      • Technology as holiday shopping guide
                                                                                      • Inspire Insights

                                                                                          • Trend: Access All Areas
                                                                                          • Anticipated Market Expenditures

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • A down economy and slow growth, but some signs of recovery
                                                                                                • Consumers remain guarded
                                                                                                  • Some categories grow sales
                                                                                                    • Online holiday spending: a silver lining
                                                                                                      • Winter holidays comprise 88% of the anticipated market
                                                                                                        • Holiday shopping anticipated market spend
                                                                                                          • Figure 1: Anticipated expenditures, by holiday, 2008 vs. 2010
                                                                                                      • Market Factors

                                                                                                        • Economic worries continue to impact spending
                                                                                                          • Consumer confidence is shaky
                                                                                                            • Figure 2: U.S. consumer sentiment, 2002-10
                                                                                                          • High unemployment likely means smaller, more affordable holiday celebrations
                                                                                                            • Figure 3: U.S. annual unemployment rate, 2002-2010
                                                                                                          • Average household income drops
                                                                                                            • Figure 4: Median household income in inflation-adjusted dollars, 1998-2008
                                                                                                          • Hispanic population, spending power on the rise
                                                                                                            • Population surge
                                                                                                              • Figure 5: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2006-16
                                                                                                            • The power to spend
                                                                                                            • Segment Performance—Holiday Spending by Occasion

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Holidays covered
                                                                                                                  • New Year’s
                                                                                                                    • Valentine’s Day
                                                                                                                      • Figure 6: Anticipated U.S. Valentine’s Day expenditures, 2006-11
                                                                                                                    • Pajamagram Valentine’s Day TV ad
                                                                                                                      • Figure 7: Pajamagram Company holiday TV ad, 2010
                                                                                                                      • Figure 8: Planned Valentine’s Day purchases, by type, 2007-11
                                                                                                                      • Figure 9: Average anticipated Valentine’s Day Spending per person, 2010
                                                                                                                    • St. Patrick’s Day
                                                                                                                      • Figure 10: Anticipated U.S. St. Patrick’s Day expenditures, 2006-11
                                                                                                                    • Easter
                                                                                                                      • Figure 11: Anticipated U.S. Easter expenditures, 2006-11
                                                                                                                      • Figure 12: Planned Easter purchases, by type, March 2011
                                                                                                                    • Mother’s Day
                                                                                                                      • Figure 13: Anticipated U.S. Mother’s Day expenditures, 2006-11
                                                                                                                    • 1-800-Flowers.com TV ad
                                                                                                                      • Figure 14: 1-800-Flowers.com holiday TV ad, 2010
                                                                                                                      • Figure 15: Planned Mother’s Day gift purchases, by type, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day
                                                                                                                      • Father’s Day
                                                                                                                        • Figure 16: Anticipated U.S. Father’s Day expenditures, 2006-11
                                                                                                                        • Figure 17: Planned Father’s Day gift purchases, by type, 2010
                                                                                                                      • Halloween
                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Anticipated U.S. Halloween expenditures, 2006-11
                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: How consumers planned to spend Halloween, 2010
                                                                                                                      • Winter holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah/Hanukkah, Kwanzaa
                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Anticipated U.S. winter holiday* expenditures for selected items, 2006-11
                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Planned winter holiday gift purchases, by type, 2010
                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Total U.S. anticipated winter* holiday expenditures, 2005-10
                                                                                                                    • Holiday Retailers and Advertising & Promotion

                                                                                                                      • Overview
                                                                                                                        • Walmart
                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Brand analysis of Walmart, 2011
                                                                                                                        • Walmart TV ad
                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Walmart holiday TV ad, 2010
                                                                                                                        • Target
                                                                                                                            • Figure 25: Brand analysis of Target, 2011
                                                                                                                          • Target TV ad
                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Target holiday TV ad, 2010
                                                                                                                          • Best Buy
                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: Brand analysis of Best Buy, 2011
                                                                                                                          • Online retailers
                                                                                                                            • Amazon
                                                                                                                              • Apple
                                                                                                                              • Top Gifting Holidays

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Christmas, Valentine’s Day lead gifting holidays
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Bought gifts, by gender and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                  • 35-44s most likely to gift for top holidays
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Bought gifts, by age and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Gift-giving increases with household income
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Bought gifts, by household income and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                • Top Card-Sending Holidays

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 31: Top card-sending holidays, April 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Christmas remains the top card-sending holiday
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 32: Bought cards, by gender and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Christmas card giving increases with age
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Bought cards, by age and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Card buying increases with household income
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Bought gifts, by household income and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Cooking at Home for the Holidays

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Christmas and Thanksgiving are the top baking/cooking holidays
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Cooked at home, by gender and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Seniors least likely to prepare a special meal for a range of holidays
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Cooked at home, by age and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Baking/cooking something special increases with household income
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Cooked at home, by household income and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Alcoholic Beverages and the Holiday Party

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • New Year’s, Christmas top holidays for alcohol purchases
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 38: Bought alcohol, by gender and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Younger respondents more likely to celebrate with alcohol
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 39: Bought alcoholic beverages, by age and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Low household income limits holiday alcohol purchases
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Bought alcoholic beverages, by household income and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Christmas, Thanksgiving most likely to prompt dinners/parties
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Hosted a dinner/party for friends/family, by gender and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Hosting dinners/parties increases with household income
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Hosted a dinner/party for friends/family, by household income and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Decorating for the Holidays

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Christmas, Halloween most likely to prompt decoration purchases
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 43: Bought holiday decorations, by gender and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                          • Lowest-income households least likely to spend on decorations
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 44: Bought holiday decorations, by household income and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                        • Holiday Activities—Shopping In-store vs. Online

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Most shop brick-and-mortar, but online shopping is increasing
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Holiday activities: in-store vs. online, by gender, April 2011
                                                                                                                                              • 18-34s most likely to increase holiday shopping
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Holiday activities: in-store vs. online, by age, April 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Low household income means less holiday spending
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Holiday activities: in-store vs. online, by household income, April 2011
                                                                                                                                            • Holiday Activities—Traditional Mail vs. eCards

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Half send traditional cards; three in 10 send eCards
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Holiday activities: holiday cards, traditional mail vs. eCards, by gender, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Youngest respondents least likely to send the same amount of greetings
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Holiday activities: holiday cards, traditional mail vs. eCards, by age, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Low household income negatively impacts card giving
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Holiday activities: holiday cards, traditional mail vs. eCards, by Household Income, April 2011
                                                                                                                                              • Holiday Activities—Baking/Cooking

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Most plan to do the same amount of baking/cooking
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Holiday activities: holiday baking/cooking, by gender, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • Higher household income means baking/cooking traditions mostly continue
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Holiday activities: holiday baking/cooking, by household income, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                • Spending

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Most plan to continue past spending patterns
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Intentions to increase or decrease holiday spend, by gender, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • 55+ most likely to buy same amount of holiday food, gifts, but not alcohol
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Intentions to increase or decrease holiday spend, by age, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • $75K+ most likely to spend the same on holiday food, gifts, alcohol in 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 55: Intentions to increase or decrease holiday spend, by household income, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                  • How Early Does Winter Holiday Shopping Start?

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Many respondents start holiday shopping in November
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: The start of the holiday season, by gender, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • $100K+ most likely to wait until November for holiday shopping
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: The start of the holiday season, by household income, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Holiday Attitudes and Expectations

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • With the economy in mind, nearly half expect retailer holiday discounts
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Holiday attitudes and expectations, by gender, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Younger respondents least likely to decorate, most likely to buy online
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Holiday attitudes and expectations, by age, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • $75K+ most likely to decorate homes for holidays, shop online
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Holiday attitudes and expectations, by household income, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Purchase Locations

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Mass merchandisers are respondents’ top holiday shopping destination
                                                                                                                                                            • Macy’s Mother’s Day TV ad
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 61: Macy’s holiday TV ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • The online phenomenon
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 62: Holiday purchase locations, by gender, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • 35-44s most likely to holiday shop at mass; seniors use the web the least
                                                                                                                                                              • Walmart Christmas TV ad
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Walmart holiday TV ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Holiday purchase locations, by Age, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Household income significantly impacts where respondents holiday shop
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Holiday purchase locations, by Household Income, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Motivations to Shop Elsewhere

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Value is the top priority
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Motivations to shop elsewhere, by gender, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • 18-24s are most motivated by value, charity, and social shopping sites
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Motivations to shop elsewhere, by Age, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                              • Impact of Race/Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Black respondents least likely to buy holiday gifts
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Bought gifts, by race/Hispanic origin and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Household income distribution, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Black respondents least likely to buy holiday cards
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Bought cards, by race/Hispanic origin and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Blacks most likely to do no in-store or online holiday shopping
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Intentions to increase or decrease holiday spend: in-store vs. online, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Black respondents most likely to report no holiday baking/cooking
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Holiday activities: holiday baking/cooking, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Blacks, Hispanics least likely to do same amount of holiday food, gift, and alcohol purchases
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 73: Holiday spending habits, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Blacks, Hispanics least likely to decorate, shop online
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Holiday attitudes and expectations, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                  • Blacks, Hispanics least likely to order online
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Holiday purchase locations, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • Presence of children means an increase of holiday food and gift purchases in 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Intentions to increase or decrease holiday spend, by presence of children, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Married respondents, those with kids more likely to holiday shop at a range of stores
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 77: Holiday purchase locations, by marital status and presence of children, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                            • Schizophrenic Shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Grumpy Grinches
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Unchanged But Bribable
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristic tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 78: Holiday shopping clusters, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 79: Holiday spending habits, by holiday shopping clusters, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 80: Intentions to increase or decrease holiday spend, by holiday shopping clusters, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 81: The start of the holiday season, by holiday shopping clusters, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 82: Holiday attitudes and expectations, by holiday shopping clusters, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 83: Motivations to shop elsewhere, by holiday shopping clusters, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Demographic tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 84: Holiday shopping clusters, by gender, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 85: Holiday shopping clusters, by age, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 86: Holiday shopping clusters, by household income, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 87: Holiday shopping clusters, by race, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 88: Holiday shopping clusters, by Hispanic origin, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix—Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Alcoholic beverages and the holiday party
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 89: Hosted a dinner/party for friends/family, by age and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Decorating for the holidays
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 90: Bought holiday decorations, by age and holiday, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Holiday activities: baking/cooking
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 91: Holiday activities: holiday baking/cooking, by age, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • How early does winter holiday shopping start?
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 92: The start of the holiday season, by age, April 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ace Hardware International
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Albert Fisher Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Amazon.com Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cold Stone Creamery
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Costco Wholesale Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Crate & Barrel
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • CVS Caremark Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Direct Marketing Association, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Electronic Retailing Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Foursquare
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gift Association of America (GAA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Greeting Card Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Groupon, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Guinness
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hallmark
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • IKEA USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • J C Penney Company, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Kmart Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (NBC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • National Confectioners Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Pottery Barn
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Research In Motion Limited
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sephora
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Walgreen Co
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Yelp Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Zales

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Holiday Shopping - US - July 2011

                                                                                                                                                                                                      £2,684.63 (Excl.Tax)