Accenture: Holiday Spending to Jump 11% This Year
By Nathalie Tadena
Holiday spending by U.S. consumers is expected to jump 11% from last year, according to Accenture PLC's (ACN) annual
holiday shopping survey.
Accenture, which conducted an online survey using a sample of 500 U.S. consumers in September, reported consumers plan
to spend an average of $646 on gifts this holiday season, compared with $582 they planned to spend last year.
"The average dollar spend is trending up, and we are seeing a consumer mindset shifting from 'cautious' to 'sensible,'
which is good news for retailers," said Chris Donnelly, global managing director of Accenture's Retail practice.
According to the study, 20% of consumers plan to spend more on gifts this year, compared with 14% who planned to
increase their holiday spending in 2012. Contributing factors behind this spending increase include a willingness among
consumers to treat themselves and their families after a tough year and increased discretionary income.
The survey also found that fewer consumers expect economic concerns to affect their shopping plans. The number of
consumers who are more likely to overspend their holiday budget this year rose to 46% from 34% in 2012.
However, Accenture reported that holiday shoppers will still be on the lookout for deals, with 94% of respondents
noting that discounts will be important to their purchasing decisions this year compared with 84% last year.
The survey found that 49% of consumers expect that three-quarters or more of their purchases will be for discounted or
Accenture also found that the appeal of Black Friday shopping for consumers has reached a five-year high. Fifty-five
percent of shoppers said they are likely to shop on Black Friday, compared with 53% last year.
However, the proportion of shoppers who plan to do most of their Black Friday shopping online rose to 30% from 25%
last year. About a third of those planning to shop on Black Friday said their primary motivation will be to take
advantage of "door-buster deals."
Thanksgiving Day has also emerged as a firm fixture in the holiday season, with more stores opening early on that day.
The survey found that 38% of respondents were likely to shop on Thanksgiving. Of these shoppers, 41% indicated they will
be out shopping between 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving day and 5 a.m. on Black Friday.
The Thanksgiving-to-Christmas shopping period this year will have six fewer days than last year.
Accenture said consumers want a holiday shopping experience on their terms. For example, the survey indicates that 63%
of shoppers are likely to participate in "showrooming," in which consumers go to a physical store to see a product and
then search online for a better price, this year, compared with 56% last year. A similar proportion of shoppers, 65%,
plan to participate in "webrooming," or browsing online and then going to a store to make their purchase.
The survey also found that discount retailers will remain the top destination for shoppers this season and gift cards
are still the number one item on consumers' shopping lists, followed by apparel, toys and personal electronics.
Write to Nathalie Tadena at firstname.lastname@example.org
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