Report: Six in 10 Holiday Shoppers Plan to Buy Non-Gifts for Themselves

The National Retail Federation (NRF) has released its 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, and the report predicts a slight decrease in the average amount each shopper will spend this holiday season. According to the survey, shoppers say they plan to shell out an average of $704.18 on holiday gifts and seasonal merchandise, down slightly from last year’s $718.98. NRF still forecasts overall holiday retail sales to grow 2.8 percent during November and December to $465.6 billion.

Holiday shoppers also plan to take advantage of sales and discounts to purchase goods for themselves. Nearly six in 10 holiday shoppers (59.9 percent) say they plan to purchase additional non-gifts for themselves and their families during the holiday season. The largest portion of a consumer’s holiday budget will go to family members, with the average person spending $403.26 on kids, parents, and other family members. Additionally, an average of $68.23 will be spent on friends, followed by $21.06 on co-workers, and $23.39 on other gifts. Consumers will also spend on decorations ($46.73), greeting cards ($26.52), candy and food ($96.75), and flowers ($18.23.) Gift cards will be popular with consumers again this year, with 57.7 percent of shoppers saying they’d like to receive a gift card this holiday season.

Discount stores will see the most traffic with 66.1 percent of respondents saying they will head to those shops compared to 65.1 percent last year. Other retailers include department stores (56.9 percent vs. 54.5 percent last year), clothing or accessory stores (35.2 percent vs. 33.6 percent last year), drug stores (21.1 percent vs. 18.9 percent last year), grocery stores and supermarkets (48.8 percent vs. 46.7 percent last year), and crafts and fabric stores (17.5 percent vs. 16.1 percent in 2010).

Internet shopping will continue to be popular this holiday season; nearly half (46.7 percent) of shoppers will buy online, up from 43.9 percent last year. The average holiday shopper plans to do 36 percent of their shopping online. Additionally, half of those surveyed who own a smartphone (52.6 percent) said they will use their device to research products, redeem coupons, use apps to assist in their purchase, or purchase holiday gifts and items. Tablet owners are even more likely to use their device to aid in their holiday shopping; seven in 10 (70.5 percent) tablet owners will research and shop using their device.

For more results from the survey, click here.