Monday, June 30, 2014

Holiday Consumer Spending on the Rise

We live in a time of instant gratification where we can face time from Timbuktu, purchase a dream vacation or our groceries at the click of button, and store any type of information on something called the “cloud.” These fast paced times allow us to conquer an abundance of errands in mere minutes, but with the ease of shopping at the click of a button, how is this effecting consumer spending? 
In a recent study from the National Retail Federation they broke down consumer spending by American holidays to see where the most money was being spent. Some say that we may be living in a financial crisis right now but results show this is not affecting the average consumer’s wallet. Holidays like Halloween that used to only be for the kids dressing up and trick-or-treating down neighborhoods with families has transformed into a huge gold mine for retailers. Thanksgiving has gone from eating a family dinner, while watching some good old American football, to the ultimate bargain shopping extravaganza, including camping out overnight to secure the best discounts and deals. In order to get a closer look the NRF ranked each holiday by spending below:

Halloween: Since 2005 consumer spending on Halloween has increased by more than 55% with purchases of children and adult costumes, decorations, candies and party favors. In a survey conducted last year, consumers said they spend an average of $75 coming to a total of about $6.9 billion! Retailers said they dedicate specific aisles for Halloween merchandise and some including life size decorations.
Mother’s Day: We all know we owe a lot to Mom and spending reports show we are in fact showering her with gifts and cards on her special day. Consumers said they spend an average of $163 on gifts, special outings and flowers on Mother’s Day totaling an average of $19.9 billion.
Back to School/College Shopping: As a little girl in pigtails, I remember this being my favorite time of the year to go shopping with my Dad. Heading down the aisles of colorful pens, notebooks and trapper keepers, I stocked up on school supplies galore! (yes, total nerd) Now parents are really feeling the hit to their wallets with purchases of dorm furniture, school supplies, clothes and even electronics get a boost in sales this time of year. Last year families spent about $72.5 billion on back to school shopping with a wide array of stores playing into this retail frenzy. Furniture stores, electronics stores, grocery stores and even thrift stores all play a role in this boost of consumer spending.
Winter holidays: This is the ultimate shopping season which accounts for nearly 20% of annual retail sales for retailers.  Holiday gifts, decorations, and parties give a huge boost to the economy with spending totaling nearly $602 billion last year. Consumers said they spent on average $730 on gifts and food during this special time of year increasing spending by 3.9% compared to the year before. Studies show this is the most celebrated time of the year with over 90% of Americans partaking in this spending frenzy celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza.

Holiday spending used to only be associated with the winter season but times show retailers are kept hustling all year long. This transformation from family oriented holidays to consumer spending outings is definitely a nice boost for the retail industry! You may be spending a little more during the holidays but if you’re nice, you just might be receiving a little more too!