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Winter Holiday Shopping - US - August 2014

“The winter holidays are serious business – both for retailers hoping to make their revenues for the year and for consumers trying to make the perfect dinner and find the right gift at the best price. As the sector grapples with tepid consumer confidence, rampant discounting and smaller families, there may not be much to celebrate in the coming seasons.”
- Ali Lipson, Category Manager – Retail & Apparel, Technology, Automotive
This report answers the following questions:

  • As larger traditional families fade, will winter holidays follow?
  • How can the industry move beyond price competition?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

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

                      • The market
                        • Modest growth is less positive than it appears
                          • Figure 1: Retail sales in November and December, both in dollars and as a share of total annual retail sales, 2003-13
                        • Market drivers
                          • The economy isn’t everything
                            • Smaller households point to a long-term concern
                              • The consumer
                                • Christmas inspires the most spending, particularly by families with kids
                                  • Figure 2: Holiday/seasonal purchases, June 2014
                                • 2014 spending plans roughly in line with 2013
                                  • Figure 3: General attitudes, June 2014
                                • Children are primary gift recipients
                                  • Figure 4: Who gifts are purchased for, June 2014
                                • The web has yet to take over
                                  • Smaller households are much harder to engage
                                    • Figure 5: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by household size, June 2014
                                  • Rewarding the loyal can pay dividends
                                    • Figure 6: Improvements to holiday shopping, June 2014
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                      • As larger traditional families fade, will winter holidays follow?
                                        • The issues
                                          • The implications
                                            • How can the industry move beyond price competition?
                                              • The issues
                                                • The implications
                                                • Trend Applications

                                                    • Trend: Who are the Joneses?
                                                      • Trend: Experience is All
                                                        • Trend: Secret, Secret
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Recession, seasonal factors drive sales trends
                                                                • Figure 7: Total US retail sales in November and December at current prices, 2005-13
                                                                • Figure 8: Retail sales in November and December as a share of total annual retail sales, 2003-13
                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Confident consumers spend more
                                                                  • Figure 9: Average Annual Consumer Sentiment Index, 2003-13
                                                                  • Figure 10: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, by employment, June 2014
                                                                • Shorter seasons curtail shopping binges
                                                                  • Figure 11: Length of the holiday shopping season, 2003-13
                                                                • Cold temperatures, cold sales registers
                                                                  • More people equals more spending
                                                                    • Figure 12: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, by household size, June 2014
                                                                    • Figure 13: Percent of total households, by number of people in household, 2012
                                                                • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • eBay: The future of shopping?
                                                                      • Figure 14: eBay Shoppable Storefront
                                                                      • Figure 15: Milly promotion - eBay CFDA Collective
                                                                    • Best Buy: If you can’t beat ‘em…
                                                                      • Figure 16: Best Buy “Your Ultimate Showroom” ad
                                                                    • Manischewitz: You gotta have a gimmick
                                                                      • Figure 17: Manischewitz Thanksgivukah eCard, 2013
                                                                  • Marketing Strategies

                                                                    • Overview of the brand landscape
                                                                      • Theme: Demystify Thanksgiving
                                                                        • Whole Foods Market
                                                                          • Figure 18: Whole Foods, Holiday Cheat Sheet site, 2013
                                                                        • Theme: Moving up Black Friday
                                                                          • Theme: Creating your own traditions
                                                                            • Target
                                                                              • Figure 19: Target, My Kind of Holiday, 2013
                                                                            • Theme: Give unto others
                                                                              • Patagonia
                                                                                • Figure 20: Patagonia, Worn Wear, 2013
                                                                              • Theme: Surprise and delight
                                                                                • Westjet
                                                                                  • Figure 21: WestJet, Christmas Miracle, 2013
                                                                              • Purchase Trends by Holiday

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Christmas leads in holiday spending
                                                                                      • Figure 22: Holiday/seasonal purchases, June 2014
                                                                                    • Thanksgiving: A time for families to celebrate over dinner
                                                                                      • Figure 23: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Thanksgiving/Black Friday, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                      • Figure 24: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Thanksgiving/Black Friday, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                      • Figure 25: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Thanksgiving/Black Friday, by household size, June 2014
                                                                                    • Christmas: A time when everyone celebrates
                                                                                      • Figure 26: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Christmas, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                      • Figure 27: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Christmas, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                      • Figure 28: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Christmas, by household size, June 2014
                                                                                      • Figure 29: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Christmas, by parents with children in household, June 2014
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Christmas, by general attitudes towards – Compared to last year, I plan to, June 2014
                                                                                    • New Year’s: A time to socialize
                                                                                      • Figure 31: Holiday/seasonal purchases – New Year’s, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                      • Figure 32: Holiday/seasonal purchases – New Year’s, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                      • Figure 33: Holiday/seasonal purchases – New Year’s, by household size, June 2014
                                                                                  • Intent to Purchase

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Clothing, gift cards, food and toys most popular
                                                                                        • Figure 34: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, June 2014
                                                                                      • Women bigger shoppers than men
                                                                                        • Figure 35: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, by gender, June 2014
                                                                                      • Older respondents focus on food
                                                                                        • Figure 36: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, by age, June 2014
                                                                                      • Upper-middle income consumers most likely to buy
                                                                                        • Figure 37: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                      • Big spenders look to buy clothes, electronics, jewelry
                                                                                        • Figure 38: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, by general attitudes towards – Compared to last year, I plan to, June 2014
                                                                                    • Attitudes toward Holiday Shopping

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Most plan few changes for 2014
                                                                                          • Figure 39: General attitudes, by gender, June 2014
                                                                                        • Younger respondents’ gift-giving plans grow
                                                                                          • Figure 40: General attitudes, by age, June 2014
                                                                                        • High-earners plan to spend around the same
                                                                                          • Figure 41: General attitudes, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                        • Bigger households to spend more, start sooner
                                                                                          • Figure 42: General attitudes, by household size, June 2014
                                                                                        • Young children lead to planned spending growth
                                                                                          • Figure 43: General attitudes, by parents with children in household, June 2014
                                                                                        • Growing families rely on the web
                                                                                          • Figure 44: Attitudes toward big-ticket items, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                        • Middle-income households most likely to use online research
                                                                                          • Figure 45: Attitudes toward big-ticket items, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                        • Self-gifting big-ticket items higher with big households
                                                                                          • Figure 46: Attitudes toward big-ticket items, by household size, June 2014
                                                                                        • Offline a better approach for reaching the unemployed
                                                                                          • Figure 47: Attitudes toward big-ticket items, by employment, June 2014
                                                                                        • Those spending more will also self-gift
                                                                                          • Figure 48: Attitudes toward big-ticket items, by general attitudes towards – Compared to last year, I plan to, June 2014
                                                                                      • Who Gifts are Purchased For

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Christmas leads in holiday spending
                                                                                            • Figure 49: Who gifts are purchased for, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                          • Are gifts for significant others a luxury?
                                                                                            • Figure 50: Who gifts are purchased for, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                          • Bigger households buy more for almost everyone
                                                                                            • Figure 51: Who gifts are purchased for, by household size, June 2014
                                                                                        • Retailers Shopped for Holiday Items

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Mass merchandisers come out on top for holiday shopping
                                                                                              • Figure 52: Retailers shopped for holiday items, June 2014
                                                                                            • Women more likely to shop online, large families to shop everywhere
                                                                                              • Figure 53: Retailers shopped for 2013 holidays, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                            • Most affluent prime shoppers at department stores
                                                                                              • Figure 54: Retailers shopped for 2013 holidays, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                            • Bigger households buy from more places
                                                                                              • Figure 55: Retailers shopped for 2013 holidays, by household size, June 2014
                                                                                            • Fewer respondents plan to shop at mass merchandisers in 2014
                                                                                              • Figure 56: Retailers plan to shop for 2014 holidays, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                            • Affluent consumers cooling on mass merchandisers
                                                                                              • Figure 57: Retailers plan to shop for 2014 holidays, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                              • Figure 58: Retailers plan to shop for 2014 holidays, by household size, June 2014
                                                                                          • Shopping Behavior and Preferences

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Younger respondents and larger households most likely to be interested in promotions and big-ticket gifts
                                                                                                • Figure 59: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by gender, June 2014
                                                                                              • Social media is a good way to engage younger shoppers
                                                                                                • Figure 60: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by age, June 2014
                                                                                              • Affluent respondents still like deals
                                                                                                • Figure 61: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                              • Many opportunities to reach out to large households
                                                                                                • Figure 62: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by household size, June 2014
                                                                                              • Parents respond well to promotions
                                                                                                • Figure 63: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by parents with children in household, June 2014
                                                                                            • Improvements to Holiday Shopping

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Free shipping, free gifts with purchase most popular enhancements
                                                                                                  • Figure 64: Improvements to holiday shopping, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                • Affluent respondents not likely to pay for convenience
                                                                                                  • Figure 65: Improvements to holiday shopping, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                                • Loyalty programs good fit for big households
                                                                                                  • Figure 66: Improvements to holiday shopping, by household size, June 2014
                                                                                                • Parents of young children want to avoid hassle
                                                                                                  • Figure 67: Improvements to holiday shopping, by parents with children in household, June 2014
                                                                                              • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Asians, Hispanics lead in many kinds of holiday spending
                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Thanksgiving/Black Friday, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2014
                                                                                                  • Asians less engaged with Christmas
                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Christmas, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2014
                                                                                                  • Hispanics very likely to plan parties for New Year’s
                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Holiday/seasonal purchases – New Year’s, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2014
                                                                                                  • Black respondents interested in personal care for 2014
                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2014
                                                                                                  • Black respondents more likely to self-gift
                                                                                                    • Figure 72: General attitudes, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2014
                                                                                                  • Black, Asian respondents use online research
                                                                                                    • Figure 73: Attitudes toward big-ticket items, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2014
                                                                                                  • White respondents most likely to buy gifts for close family
                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Who gifts are purchased for, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2014
                                                                                                  • Black, Asian respondents an opportunity for office supply
                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Retailers plan to shop for 2014 holidays, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2014
                                                                                                  • Blacks, Hispanics more value-conscious
                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2014
                                                                                                  • White respondents respond well to free shipping
                                                                                                    • Figure 77: Improvements to holiday shopping, by race/Hispanic origin, June 2014
                                                                                                • Consumer Segmentation

                                                                                                    • Entertainers
                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                            • Abstainers
                                                                                                              • Demographics
                                                                                                                • Characteristics
                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                    • Master-Celebrators
                                                                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                            • Cluster characteristic tables
                                                                                                                              • Figure 78: Target clusters, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Figure 79: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Thanksgiving/Black Friday, by target clusters, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Figure 80: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Christmas, by target clusters, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Figure 81: Holiday/seasonal purchases – New Year’s, by target clusters, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Figure 82: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, by target clusters, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: Who gifts are purchased for, by target clusters, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Figure 84: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by target clusters, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Figure 85: Improvements to holiday shopping, by target clusters, June 2014
                                                                                                                            • Cluster demographic tables
                                                                                                                              • Figure 86: Target clusters, by demographics, June 2014
                                                                                                                            • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                              • Holiday/Seasonal purchases – Thanksgiving/Black Friday
                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Holiday/Seasonal purchases – Thanksgiving/Black Friday, by marital/relationship status, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Holiday/Seasonal purchases – Thanksgiving/Black Friday, by generations, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Holiday/Seasonal purchases – Thanksgiving/Black Friday, by parents with children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Holiday/seasonal purchases – Thanksgiving/Black Friday, by general attitudes towards – Compared to last year, I plan to, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Holiday/Seasonal purchases – Christmas
                                                                                                                                • Figure 91: Holiday/Seasonal purchases – Christmas, by marital/relationship status, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 92: Holiday/Seasonal purchases – Christmas, by employment, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 93: Holiday/Seasonal purchases – Christmas, by generations, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Holiday/Seasonal purchases – New Year’s
                                                                                                                                • Figure 94: Holiday/Seasonal purchases – New Year’s, by marital/relationship status, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 95: Holiday/Seasonal purchases – New Year’s, by generations, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 96: Holiday/Seasonal purchases – New Year’s, by parents with children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 97: Holiday/Seasonal purchases – New Year’s, by employment, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 98: Holiday/Seasonal purchases – New Year’s, by general attitudes towards – Compared to last year, I plan to, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Planned purchases
                                                                                                                                • Figure 99: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, by household size, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 100: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, by marital/relationship status, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 101: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, by employment, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 102: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, by generations, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 103: Planned purchases for 2014 holiday season, by parents with children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • General attitudes on holiday shopping
                                                                                                                                • Figure 104: General attitudes, by marital/relationship status, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 105: General attitudes, by employment, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 106: General attitudes, by generations, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 107: General attitudes, by general attitudes towards – Compared to last year, I plan to, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Attitudes toward big-ticket items
                                                                                                                                • Figure 108: Attitudes toward big-ticket items, by marital/relationship status, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 109: Attitudes toward big-ticket items, by generations, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 110: Attitudes toward big-ticket items, by parents with children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Who gifts are purchased for
                                                                                                                                • Figure 111: Who gifts are purchased for, by marital/relationship status, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 112: Who gifts are purchased for, by parents with children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 113: Who gifts are purchased for, by employment, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 114: Who gifts are purchased for, by generations, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 115: Who gifts are purchased for, by general attitudes towards – Compared to last year, I plan to, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Retailers shopped during 2013 holidays
                                                                                                                                • Figure 116: Retailers shopped for 2013 holidays, by marital/relationship status, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 117: Retailers shopped for 2013 holidays, by employment, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 118: Retailers shopped for 2013 holidays, by generations, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 119: Retailers shopped for 2013 holidays, by parents with children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 120: Retailers shopped for 2013 holidays, by general attitudes towards – Compared to last year, I plan to, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Retailers plan to shop for 2014 holidays
                                                                                                                                • Figure 121: Retailers plan to shop for 2014 holidays, by marital/relationship status, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 122: Retailers plan to shop for 2014 holidays, by generations, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 123: Retailers plan to shop for 2014 holidays, by parents with children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 124: Retailers plan to shop for 2014 holidays, by general attitudes towards – Compared to last year, I plan to, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Shopping behavior and preferences
                                                                                                                                • Figure 125: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by marital/relationship status, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 126: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by employment, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 127: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by generations, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 128: Shopping behaviors and preferences, by general attitudes towards – Compared to last year, I plan to, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Improvements to holiday shopping
                                                                                                                                • Figure 129: Improvements to holiday shopping, by marital/relationship status, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 130: Improvements to holiday shopping, by employment, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 131: Improvements to holiday shopping, by generations, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 132: Improvements to holiday shopping, by general attitudes towards – Compared to last year, I plan to, June 2014
                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                              To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                              Winter Holiday Shopping - US - August 2014

                                                                                                                              US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)