‘Tis the season to be optimistic

The holiday season is upon us and a new survey from American Express  reveals that 53% of consumers have intentions on spending more or the same on holiday gifts this year compared to a year ago. This is welcome news for economy and retailers.

According to Deloitte’s 24th Annual Holiday Survey, 54% of Americans expect the economy to improve in the upcoming year. And, this has consumers starting to show optimism in their shopping plans. In line with results from the American Express survey, 51% of respondents in Deloitte’s survey said they hope to spend more or the same on the holidays.

So, what will consumers purchase this season? The National Retail Federation found in their November Consumer Intentions and Actions survey that 58% of adult consumers plan to purchase clothing or clothing accessories as gifts, 55% plan to purchase electronics or computer-related accessories and 42% plan to purchase toys. More important to our industry is that 17% of adult consumers plan to buy home décor or home-related furnishings as gifts this season. And, even when the purchase is not a gift, Deloitte’s survey found consumers are willing to increase spending on home/holiday furnishings.

According to Stacy Janiak, Vice Chairman of Deloitte’s U.S. Retail division, consumers will continue to demonstrate a change in shopping habits, due to the economy. However, they now seem to have an interest in revisiting shopping categories they had previously placed on the back burner. “We have seen key economic indicators ease from their worst levels, helping to put more resources back into Americans’ pockets. As a result, a cautious upturn in sentiment may draw consumers out of their bunkers, turn their focus away from saving and debt reduction, and encourage them to do some holiday shopping for their homes, family and friends.”

What’s helping to fuel enthusiasm among consumers this holiday season? Some say the Internet and social media such as Twitter and Facebook have captured the consumers’ attention and brought excitement back into holiday shopping. According to Shop.org, retailers are creating promotions and incentives to help Americans with their shopping this season. They’re jumping aboard, ramping up their web sites and increasing their use of social media in hopes that it will lead to more sales this season. In other words, they’re letting their online presence shine. In fact, Shop.org’s eHoliday survey revealed 47% of online retailers will be increasing their use of social media this holiday season due to the consumers’ interest in these types of sites.

According to American Express, 79% of consumers intend to use the Internet as a holiday shopping tool this year and 45% will use the Internet to purchase items.

So, let’s be joyfully optimistic going into this holiday season.


Source: www.furnituretoday.com


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