Consumers plan to get started early on Christmas shopping
Fewer and fewer consumers are likely to be heading out to malls and stores in the final days before Christmas as more go shopping earlier in the season, according to new research from The NPD Group.
This year will mark the first time when more consumers will start shopping Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday than in early December, according to NPD, which surveyed 3,785 U.S. adults. According to the firm’s “2017 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey,” consumers have been gradually moving to earlier starts on their Christmas shopping for the last 10 years.
“The consumer that used to wait until after Thanksgiving weekend now shops during it,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD, in a statement. “Despite all the efforts in recent years to get shoppers shopping before Black Friday week we see little to no movement early in the season, but the last-minute shoppers have moved their timing up.”
Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed by NPD plan to start shopping for the holidays over the Thanksgiving weekend. That’s up from 12 to 16 percent in the years before 2014. Part of the reason that consumers are shopping earlier, according to NPD’s analysis, is the shift online. Two-thirds of consumers plan to do at least some of their Christmas shopping online this year.
“The excitement of Thanksgiving Day store openings has now faded, making them a low risk, low reward proposition. While choosing to close on the holiday will not be detrimental to those retailers, the retailers who open won’t see a significant boost this year either,” said Mr. Cohen.
The Christmas shopping season promises to be a strong one for retailers. A survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the National Retail Federation found that consumers plan to spend an average of $967.13 this year, up 3.4 percent over 2016. This new survey follows NRF’s annual holiday spending forecast, which projected retail sales in November and December to increase between 3.6 percent and four percent.
Online will be the most popular shopping destination this year, surpassing stores for the first time in history, according to NRF, which has estimated that 59 percent of consumers plan to shop online and 49 percent plan to pick up online orders in stores.
- A Holiday First – Procrastination Dwindles As More Shoppers Plan To Start Thanksgiving Weekend – The NPD Group
- NRF Consumer Survey Points to Busy Holiday Season, Backs Up Economic Forecast and Import Numbers – National Retail Federation
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How will the shift to earlier shopping, particularly online, affect how retailers approach the holidays in terms of marketing, merchandising, store operations, etc.? Where do you see this shift having the greatest impact on how retail businesses operate during November and December?