Washington, D.C.-based National Retail Federation says most consumers will take a conservative approach with their gift-giving in 2012. According to NRF’s holiday consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, the average holiday shopper will spend $749.51 on gifts, decor, greeting cards and more, up slightly from the $740.57 they actually spent last year.
Also on the rise this year: More than half (51.8 percent) of respondents will shop online for gifts and other items this holiday season, up from 46.7 percent in 2011. When asked what percent of their holiday shopping they planned to do online, the average person will complete about 38.8 percent of their shopping on retailers’ and other companies websites, another survey high. Shop.org, NRF’s digital division, is forecasting online holiday sales will grow 12 percent to as much as $96 billion.
The biggest portion of shoppers’ budget will go towards gifts for family members with the average person planning to spend $421.82, the NRF says. Additionally, people will spend $75.13 on friends, $23.48 on co-workers and $28.13 on others, such as pets and community members.
So when will the shopping blitz begin? As in recent years, four in 10 Americans say they will begin holiday shopping before Halloween. Comparison shopping will play a big role this season as budget-conscious shopper commit considerable time in stores and online looking for deals. Once they do decide to buy, nearly two-thirds (65.3 percent) will shop at discount stores and more than half (57.8 percent) will shop at department stores, according to the NRF study. Clothing stores (36.2 percent), electronics stores (31.8 percent) and specialty stores (16.7 percent) also will be popular shopping destinations.