Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

Winter Holiday Shopping - US - August 2016

US retail sales in November and December of this year are predicted to reach $692 billion, up $10 billion, or 1.3% over 2015. Macroeconomic factors at the time of writing paint a positive picture for the coming months, as does the fact that 41% of shoppers say they intend to spend more this year. However, the results of the US presidential election could impact consumer confidence and result in a pullback of spending. Nearly half of shoppers would like to get the majority of their shopping done prior to Thanksgiving. Online and mobile shopping is expected to reach record highs putting more pressure on bricks and mortar retailers to drive in-store traffic.

This report examines the following issues:

  • Tempered forecast for 2016 holiday season; Should edge 2015 by $10 billion
  • All I want for the holidays is a good deal
  • Online shopping will reach new heights

This Report focuses on Winter holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa) as these represent the bulk of total holiday expenditures.

For the purposes of this Report, “holiday shopping” refers to expected consumer expenditures on holiday-specific items such as gifts, decorations, seasonal candy and other food, greeting cards, and other expenditures.

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Tempered forecast for 2016 holiday season; Should edge 2015 by $10 billion
            • Figure 1: Total US retail sales* in November and December, at current prices, 2006-16
          • All I want for the holidays is a good deal
            • Figure 2: Deal-seeking behaviors, May 2016
          • Online shopping will reach new heights
            • Figure 3: Online shopping intent, by generation, May 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Focus on low-hanging fruit to upsell
              • Figure 4: Spending versus self-gifting intent, by key demographics, May 2016
            • Lay out detailed messaging strategy
              • Figure 5: Attitudes related to preferred shopping time frames, May 2016
            • Check off shoppers’ wish lists
              • Figure 6: Holiday shopping improvements, May 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Winter holiday season should edge last year, but don’t count on it being a record breaker
                • Economic climate leads to uncertainty
                  • A look back: Success or failure?
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • 2016 holiday season expected to trump last year by $10 billion
                      • Figure 7: Total US retail sales* in November and December, at current prices, 2006-16
                      • Figure 8: Total US retail sales* in November and December as a share of total annual retail sales, 2006-16
                    • 2015 anticipated expenditures were expected to stay flat versus 2014
                      • Figure 9: Anticipated winter holiday expenditures on gifts versus other items, in current dollars, 2010-15
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Holiday sales were solid in 2015, but many say not solid enough
                    • Market Factors

                      • Consumers are in wait-and-see mode regarding the economy
                        • Figure 10: Outlook on personal financial situation vs. US economy in coming 12 months, February 2015-March 2016
                        • Figure 11: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2007-June 2016
                      • Slight gains for GDP and DPI
                        • Figure 12: GDP and PCE change from previous period, Q1 2007-Q1 2016
                        • Figure 13: Disposable Personal Income change from previous period, January 2007-May 2016
                      • Median household income on the decline
                        • Gas prices remain low, but are starting to creep back up
                          • Figure 14: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-June 2016
                        • More time to shop this year
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Leading with mobile
                            • Stores without meaningful consumer relationships risk alienation
                              • Tis the season for technology
                              • What’s Working?

                                • Mobile shopping
                                  • Email marketing
                                    • Figure 15: Amazon email, November 2015
                                    • Figure 16: Nordstrom email, November 2015
                                    • Figure 17: REI email, November 2015
                                  • Search engine optimization and marketing
                                    • Customizable lists
                                    • What’s Struggling?

                                      • Is brick and mortar dead?
                                          • Figure 18: Target Wonderland pop-up shop in New York City, December 2015
                                          • Figure 19: Lush holiday movie screenings in London, December 2015
                                      • What’s Next?

                                          • Social media integration
                                            • Shoppable marketing
                                              • Interactive video
                                                • Virtual and augmented reality
                                                  • Connected devices will top wish lists
                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Gift cards remain hot items
                                                      • Three out of four plan to do at least half of shopping online
                                                        • Shopping season gets longer
                                                          • Right gift trumps the budget more often than not
                                                            • Consumers want “free and fast” service for the holidays
                                                            • The Meaning of the Holidays

                                                              • 2015 Winter Holiday Purchases

                                                                  • Everyone’s still eating, drinking, and being merry
                                                                    • Figure 20: 2015 winter holiday purchases, May 2016
                                                                  • Categories purchased vary by holiday
                                                                    • Figure 21: 2015 winter holiday purchases, by holiday, May 2016
                                                                  • Men are shopping too
                                                                    • Figure 22: 2015 winter holiday purchases, by gender, May 2016
                                                                  • What’s on their shopping and personal wish lists?
                                                                    • Experiences over tangible items
                                                                    • Planned Retail Channels

                                                                        • Prepare for another year of Amazon domination
                                                                            • Figure 23: Planned retailer types, May 2016
                                                                            • Figure 24: Planned retailer types, by age and household income, May 2016
                                                                          • Local stores have a chance to shine
                                                                            • Local
                                                                              • National
                                                                                • No preference
                                                                                • Online Shopping Intent

                                                                                    • Three out of four plan to do at least half of shopping online
                                                                                      • Figure 25: Online shopping intent, May 2016
                                                                                      • Figure 26: Online shopping intent, by generation, May 2016
                                                                                    • Online marketplaces grow
                                                                                      • Video should be a vital part of communication strategies
                                                                                        • Email marketing performance can be amplified with browse abandonment tactics
                                                                                          • Mobile as the new storefront
                                                                                            • Figure 27: Planned 2015 holiday shopping consumer activities on mobile devices, October 2015
                                                                                        • Holiday Shopping Research and Planning

                                                                                            • Even if they’re not buying online, they’re probably shopping online
                                                                                              • Figure 28: In-store versus online preferences, by gender and age, May 2016
                                                                                              • Figure 29: Online shopping behavior, by generation, May 2016
                                                                                            • Cashing in on coupons and loyalty points
                                                                                              • Figure 30: Other deal-seeking behavior, by parental status, May 2016
                                                                                            • In their words
                                                                                            • Shopping Time Frame

                                                                                                • Season begins much earlier than Thanksgiving
                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Attitudes related to preferred shopping time frames, by gender, May 2016
                                                                                                • The “power period” is changing
                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Attitudes related to shopping on key days, May 2016
                                                                                                  • In their words
                                                                                                    • I’m all in
                                                                                                      • I steer clear
                                                                                                        • Shopping process extends post-holiday
                                                                                                        • Attitudes toward Winter Holiday Shopping

                                                                                                            • Younger generations are primed to spend more
                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Anticipated spending, by key demographics, May 2016
                                                                                                            • Balancing the right gift with the budget
                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Importance of finding right gift versus staying within budget, by household income, May 2016
                                                                                                              • Tis the season to gift myself
                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Self-gifting tendency, May 2016
                                                                                                              • What are consumers willing to pay more for?
                                                                                                                • Credit cards most common form of payment
                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Preferred payment method for holiday purchases, by age and household income, May 2016
                                                                                                                • Explaining their preferred payment methods
                                                                                                                  • Cash preferred
                                                                                                                    • Credit cards preferred
                                                                                                                    • Holiday Shopping Desired Improvements

                                                                                                                        • Free goes a long way
                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Holiday shopping improvements, May 2016
                                                                                                                        • Older generations appreciate being rewarded for their loyalty
                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Select holiday shopping improvements, by generation, May 2016
                                                                                                                          • Don’t underestimate the small things
                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Select holiday shopping improvements, by race and Hispanic origin, May 2016
                                                                                                                          • What about customization options?
                                                                                                                            • Definitely a factor
                                                                                                                              • Nice to have
                                                                                                                                • Not a factor
                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                                                                    • Sales data
                                                                                                                                      • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                                        • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                                                                                          • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                • Terms
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Total US retail sales* in November and December, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2006-16
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Anticipated average expenditures for winter holidays, at current prices, 2010-15
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Anticipated winter holiday expenditures on gifts versus other items, in current dollars, 2010-15
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Median household income, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2004-14
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2011-21
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Length of the holiday shopping season, 2005-16
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Consumer

                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: US retail sales during November and December 2015 combined, by device/platform
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: When last holiday gifts will be purchased, October 2015
                                                                                                                                                  • Additional qualitative data
                                                                                                                                                    • Before Thanksgiving
                                                                                                                                                      • Around Thanksgiving or after

                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

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

                                                                                                                                                      Winter Holiday Shopping - US - August 2016

                                                                                                                                                      £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)