Nearly three-quarters (74%) of consumers plan to shop during the upcoming five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend, heading over the river, through the woods, to grandmother’s house, and then straight on to the mall or e-commerce website, according to a study from the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Prosper Insights & Analytics.
The top five gift categories consumers plan to give are clothing (56%), followed by gift cards at 44%, toys at 37%, books, video games and other media at 31%, and food/candy at 29%. NRF also found a jump in the number of consumers that intend to buy personal care and beauty items as gifts this holiday season, which rose to a record 28% from about one-quarter in recent years.
The most popular source for gift inspiration remains online search (44%), followed by friends and family (35%), in-store (32%) and wish lists (26%). The survey was conducted Nov. 1-6 and asked 8,424 adult consumers about their holiday shopping plans.
Overall holiday spending is expected to reach record levels during November and December and will grow between 3% and 4% over 2022, totaling $957.3 billion to $966.6 billion, according to NRF’s holiday forecast. By comparison, last year holiday sales totaled $929.5 billion.
Much of that spending will go to gift cards, which are expected to tally $29.3 billion in sales, up from $28.6 billion last year. Similar to last year, holiday shoppers plan to purchase between three to four gift cards and spend an average of $49.43 per card ($166.69 per person). Specifically, restaurant gift cards are most popular (30%), followed by bank-issued gift cards (26%), department stores (26%) and coffee shops (21%).