The holiday season is the most significant shopping period of the year for retailers. It starts with Halloween and runs through New Year’s Eve. Americans spend billions of dollars buying gifts for family and friends during this time. Some items on shoppers’ lists this year include TVs, toys, coats, and dresses.
According to a new survey by Deloitte, consumers are planning to spend an average of $1,652 this holiday season. That’s more than they planned to spend last year. And it’s higher than pre-pandemic projections of about $1,496 per person. And it’s not just gifts costing consumers more this year; even things like wrapping paper and cards are up in price.
Despite the higher costs, many shoppers are still optimistic about holiday spending plans. Consumers want to buy their loved one’s items that will bring a smile to their faces. They also believe that they will be able to find deals on those items this year. Some retailers are already offering discounts this year.
For example, Macy’s higher-end department store division, Bloomingdale’s, is selling a collection of candy-themed jewelry and clothing for the holidays. It has a colorful selection of chocolate-colored cuff links and purple blazers inspired by the new “Wonka” movie that hits theaters next month. It’s part of the retailer’s effort to stand out from discounters and other traditional department stores.
Retailers are stepping up their promotions this year to lure shoppers back into stores. Some, such as Lowe’s, Kohl’s, and Best Buy, have cut their sales forecasts. Others, such as Nordstrom, are adding incentives and offering quicker shipping to help attract consumers. On its earnings call in early November, Footwear company Steve Madden CEO Edward Rosenfeld said customers often show up at stores only when they see a promotion.
This year’s holiday shopping is expected to differ slightly from recent years. Some retailers, such as Target and Amazon, started holiday sales events in October to give consumers more time to shop. Some retailers, such as Lowe’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods, have also expanded their price discounts to a wide range of items.
But as the Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping seasons begin, trend experts say that no one item is capturing consumer’s attention or demand. Sure, anything related to “Star Wars” will be popular this year, and a handful of electronic devices, such as the Apple Watch, are in high demand, but there isn’t one clear winner. That could make it difficult for some retailers to meet their sales forecasts. Regardless, consumers are laser-focused on prices and have clarified that they will wait until an item is discounted. It’s the only way to get a deal on an item they really want. And that could create a complicated holiday for retailers.