“Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa sales represent 73% of total holiday expenditures. Mass merchandisers and department stores are the retail channels most frequently used for holiday purchases, particularly among blacks and Hispanics. Layaway payment options are experiencing a surge in popularity for these groups, as well as for Millennials. Millennial shoppers, the most avid holiday spenders and celebrators, continue to be financially vulnerable, despite improving macroeconomic conditions. Price sensitivity persists, and retailers are faced with the challenges of showrooming.”
– Ika Erwina, Retail and Technology Analyst
Some issues addressed in this report include:
- Understanding the needs of specific generations should bring incremental sales
- Embracing showrooming to encourage big-ticket purchases on holidays
While winter holidays represent the bulk of total holiday expenditures, retailers must be sure to build loyalty throughout the year with ongoing attractive holiday sales events. Mass merchandisers and department stores gain a high share of holiday shopping largely because of their extensive inventory and already a go-to destination for many shoppers.
Print coupons continue to be more popular than e-coupons, though the latter are gaining ground. For 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, costumes, restaurant meals (e.g., brunches, dinners), and other expenditures.
Expenditure categories vary according to holiday. “Anticipated total expenditures” shown in this report include only the specific items asked about in each survey.
The following holidays are covered in this report: Valentine's Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa.
Other holidays are discussed in this report, including federal holidays (such as Labor Day, Independence Day, President’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and Columbus Day), but estimates of anticipated expenditures on these holidays are not included.
Consumer participation in holiday activities and making holiday purchases are discussed in this report by season—as well as overall—in order to establish relevant seasonal holiday trends. Marketing strategies are also categorized by season, to reflect variance in advertising and promotional needs and approaches.
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