Holiday shopping season looks promising

In some recent research released by the National Retail Federation, the holiday shopping season looks promising indeed. All across the generations it looks as if people will be ready to spend both online and out at the stores. The following is just some of the data released by the NRF as the holiday shopping season begins in earnest.

The National Retail Federation said it expects holiday retail sales during November and December to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent over 2018 to a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion. The numbers, which exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, compare with an average holiday sales increase of 3.7 percent over the previous five years.

“The U.S. economy is continuing to grow and consumer spending is still the primary engine behind that growth,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Nonetheless, there has clearly been a slowdown brought on by considerable uncertainty around issues including trade, interest rates, global risk factors and political rhetoric.  Consumers are in good financial shape and retailers expect a strong holiday season. However, confidence could be eroded by continued deterioration of these and other variables.”

Gen Z, is just getting on the holiday shopping bandwagon, but they will be heading straight for Black Friday deals.

The older segment of this young generation of consumers, age 18 to 22, plans to spend the least of all generations, but one-third plan to spend more this year than in 2018. About one-third will start shopping on Black Friday, the highest of all generations. Gen Z-ers are less likely than Millennials and Gen X to shop online, but they are likely to buy clothing, accessories, and electronics.

Millennials are all about the deals, dollars, and technology this holiday.

Consumers in this generation plan to spend less than their older counterparts (Gen X and Boomers) but one-third plan to spend more than they did in 2018. More than 20% of Millennials will start shopping on Black Friday, second only to Gen Z.

The vast majority will shop online, but they are also more likely than all other generations to buy electronics (46%) and shop Dollar Stores (19%).

Gen X plans have them as the big holiday spenders.

Gen X shoppers plan to spend more than all other generations. They are the most likely generation to buy clothing/accessories (68%) and entertainment items (44%), and most likely to shop mass merchants (51%) and online pure-plays (77%). About one-fifth will start shopping on Black Friday.

Boomers will be early out of the gate with a steady pace.

Fifty-seven percent of Boomers plan to start shopping early (before Thanksgiving), making them more likely than all other generations to do so. They plan to spend the 2nd highest amount of all generations (behind Gen X), and overall spending will stay the same as last year. They are more likely than all other generations to shop department stores (24%) and national chains (27%), but they are also most likely to purchase liquor or wine as holiday gifts (26%).

Silent Generation shoppers will be important at stores and the last minute.

Four out of ten of these older consumers plan to start shopping late, making them the most likely generation to do so, and only half will shop online. They plan to spend about the same amount as Millennials, keeping their spending in line with last year.

-Written by Kevin Sawyer