‘Tis Better To Give To Thyself Than…
Apparently, finding an increasingly critical holiday shopper only involves looking in the mirror.
According to the NRF’s holiday consumer spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, nearly six in 10 shoppers (59.0 percent) plan to spend an average of $139.92 on "self-gifting" this holiday season — the most on non-gift items in the survey’s 10-year history.
The self-gifting rate decreased with the Great Recession but picked up in each of the last three years. Overall, 20 percent of the average shopper’s holiday outlay is projected to be spent on themselves in 2012, up from 14 percent in 2004.
Among groups, the biggest spenders are adults, 25-34, averaging $175.65. But the biggest group is young adults, ages 18-24, with more than seven in 10 (71.5 percent) looking to spend an average of $159.62.
NRF noted that the young are most likely to endure the long lines for midnight and early-bird Black Friday promotions.
"It looks like young adults have the ‘one for you two for me’ mentality about the holiday season this year, which is surprising given that this is also the age group that typically doesn’t have the income or ability to splurge," said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow, in a statement.
In an article penned for Time Magazine, Kit Yarrow, chairperson of the Psychology Department of Golden Gate University, posited five reasons for the rise in holiday self-gifting:
- Expected Deals: Early-fall purchases have been delayed as shoppers have become "more accustomed than ever to associate the holidays with massive bargains," especially with promotions heightening since the Great Recession.
- Impulse Buys Aplenty: More so than other times of the year, holiday browsers face accessories, party clothes, decorations, and electronics that are "all arguably better to purchase for oneself than someone else, whose preferences you can’t gauge."
- "Me-Centric" Society: While self-gifting would have been "laughed off" in prior eras, self-esteem movements in schools as well as marketing messages such as "reward yourself" and "you deserve it" are making the practice more acceptable.
- Savings Reinvested: Shoppers spending less than planned on a gift use the savings to self-gift as a smart-shopping reward. The chore and thrill of bargain hunting also encourages self-gifting.
- Mental Vulnerability: Crowd-swerving, deal hunting, lists and other holiday mayhem derails planned budgets. Ms. Yarrow wrote, "It’s harder to think straight, and easier to make impulse and self-reward purchases when we’re holiday shopping."
- Shoppers To Remain Conservative With Holiday Gift Budgets This Year, According To NRF – National Retail Federation
- Ahead of the festive season, new research reveals just how much the British are embracing the trend of self-gifting – Barclays
- Why Holiday Season ‘Self-Gifting’ Is Such a Huge Retail Trend – Time Magazine – Time
- Here’s Why Holiday Season Self-Gifting Is So Hot Right Now – Business Insider
What do you think is driving the apparent rise in holiday self-gifting? What can stores do to further take advantage of the opportunity?