NRF’s holiday surveys gauge consumer sentiment and shopping trends during the winter holiday season, including Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday and Christmas.
More than 40 percent of holiday shoppers surveyed expect to finish their holiday gift shopping by December 19, but the biggest procrastinators will still be buying gifts through Christmas Eve.
Young adults are most likely to spend more this holiday. Top gifts continue to be clothing and accessories, and Barbie and LEGO top the list of most popular toys.
Consumers are hit with a barrage of sales and marketing messages around the holidays, but how do they behave when it comes to sales and promotions?
Holiday sales during November and December 2017 increased 5.5 percent over the same period in 2016 to $691.9 billion as growing wages, stronger employment and higher confidence led consumers to spend more than had been expected. The results exceeded NRF’s forecast of between $678.75 billion and $682 billion. December alone was up 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted from November and up 4.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year. From Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, more than 174 million Americans shopped in stores and online during the five-day holiday weekend. The most popular day for in-store shopping was Black Friday, cited by 77 million consumers, followed by Small Business Saturday with 55 million consumers.
- 2017 Holiday slideshow
- 2017 holiday retail sales exceed NRF forecast
- Consumers and retailers win big over Thanksgiving holiday
- November survey: Young adults are spending more this holiday season
- 164 million consumers plan to shop over Thanksgiving weekend
- October consumer survey points to busy holiday season
- 2017 forecast: Holiday sales expected to grow between 3.6 and 4 percent
- December survey: Holiday shoppers rushing to meet deadline
- Retail Holiday Planning Playbook
The 2016 Holiday season was full of surprises. The start of the season coincided with the U.S. presidential election and consumers seemed initially cautious about their spending plans. However, once the election had passed, shoppers fully embraced the holiday spirit. Total holiday retail sales during November and December increased 4 percent over 2015, exceeding NRF’s initial forecast of $655.8 billion. For the second year in a row, Barbie topped the toy list for girls while Legos continued to lead the list for boys. In addition to spending on gifts for friends, family members and co-workers, consumers also use the season to pick up non-gift items. Nearly two-thirds of consumers planned to take advantage of the 2016 holiday sales to splurge on something extra for themselves or their families.
- 2016 Holiday slideshow
- December 2016 consumer survey
- Thanksgiving weekend 2016
- Cyber Monday
- November 2016 consumer survey
- Thanksgiving weekend
- October 2016 consumer survey
- 2016 forecast
The 2015 holiday season provided tough obstacles for the retail industry including weather and inventory challenges. Average spending per person during the holiday season was over $800 for the second year in a row, with more than half of shoppers splurging on non-gift items for themselves. Barbie was back in the number one spot on the Top Toys list after falling behind Disney’s Frozen in 2014, following an 11-year reign.