Holiday Spending in the U.S.: Spending on Gifts and Charity

Oct 1, 2008
202 Pages - Pub ID: LA1391118
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Americans love to celebrate and holidays create a reason to rejoice and reflect and spend time with loved ones. Along the way, an estimated $133.6 billion will be spent on festivities in 2008, across the six largest holiday spending occasions. While Americans love to spend all year round, holidays give people a reason to shop and to celebrate. For many shoppers, the Winter Holidays represent their major annual spree and in 2008 it is estimated that 58% of holiday spending dollars will be attributed to Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza.

Holiday Spending in the U.S. covers spending for Winter Holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza) Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Halloween. Trends in consumer spending and gift giving are discussed throughout this report, and for that reason, non-gift giving occasions such as Thanksgiving and July Fourth are excluded, whereas Halloween, because of its marked growth in popularity and consumer spending, is included.

Because they are a reflection of how Americans choose to spend their money in terms of broader causes, contributions to charity are also reviewed.

Sources and Methodology

Holiday spending estimates were compiled from more than 10 sources that released holiday spending projections. These include the Conference Board, the International Council of Shopping Centers, BIGresearch, and the Consumer Electronics Association. These sources were benchmarked against each other, and compared to retail sales during the holiday periods under review.

What You’ll Get in this Report

What’s Covered
  • Holiday spending figures for gifts and other spending (décor, food candy, cards, plants and flowers) are quantified by holiday for 2004-2008. Spending figures are made up of three components, the number of households, the percentage of households participating, and the average expenditure per household.
  • Key drivers in holiday spending, the role of economic conditions in participation and retail spending
  • Trends in spending by holiday are identified for each holiday. Holiday spending by channel is trended for major retail channels, including department stores, discount department stores, grocery stores, drug stores, warehouse and club stores, toy specialty stores, and specialty electronics retailers. A comprehensive review of the online channel is also provided.
  • The holiday spending consumer is analyzed; who spends the most and who is the most generous. The role of the economy in consumer indecision and procrastination is revealed as are tips for the retail channel to adapt to the shrinking window for Winter Holiday shopping.
  • A review of trends in retail formats is provided, from traditional malls, to lifestyle centers, kiosks and automated stores.
  • Where the market is going, forecasts for holiday spending through 2012 by year and by holiday. "Green marketing,” pet indulgence, personalized gifts and gifts of experience trends are also explored.
Chapter 1: Executive Summary
Report Methodology
Market Size and Growth
Definition
Consumer Spending - Overview
Conscientious spenders
Winter Holidays will Account for 58% of Holiday Spending Dollars in 2008
Figure 1-1: Holiday Spending by Occasion, 2008
Table 1-1: Holiday Spending by Occasion, 2004-2008 (million $)
Why is Winter Holiday spending declining?
Many Factors Point to Lowered Spending on Winter Holidays
Impulse spending weakens
Spending Less on Others is a Trend
Definition of “gift” gets fuzzy
Americans spend more…on themselves
Pets love Holidays too
The influence of religion on faith-based holidays can’t be measured
While Winter Holidays weaken, others shine
Table 1-2: Holiday Participation, 2003-2007/2008
Other Holiday spending
Restaurants and Holiday takeout
Holiday Candy sales hold steady
Holiday Spending by Occasion
Christmas is big…but celebrations slide
Santa fatigue?
Tighter wallets, Mall avoidance and impulse spending
Family tops the gift list, but non-gift items see faster growth
Fewer gifts under a nicer tree
Gift givers get indecisive
Fastest growth segments, Consumer Electronics, Gift Cards, Food Gifts
Mother’s Day
Moms love homemade gifts…but anything personal is appreciated
Easter
No Need for Easter Clothes
Valentine’s Day
Father’s Day
Halloween
Holiday Spending - the Consumer
Who gets gifts?
Family and children top the list for Winter Holiday spending
Generation Y, Hispanics, $75+ income groups most likely to spread cheer to co-workers and others
Co-workers and “Others” get dropped from gift lists in lean times, but Hispanics and upper income respondents just try to spend less
Who gets gifts?
Households with incomes of $150K spend three times on average for gifts, but the middle aged are most generous
Even the well-to-do scale back
What do Holiday shoppers buy?
Lean times test the practicality of gift cards
Gift packaged chocolates and specialty food gifts
All Other Spending, Décor, Greeting Cards, Flowers and Plants
When do people shop?
The earliest birds are retired females
Thanksgiving Weekend Shoppers- young, diverse and looking for bargains
More push off shopping until the last minute
How people really feel about Winter Holiday gift spending
Holiday dropouts?
Table 1-3: “Will you celebrate the upcoming Winter Holidays?” by Gender, Race and Income, 2007 and point change from 2005-2007
An indulged shopper will indulge others
Nothing can replace the magic of a special gift
Channels, Retail Formats, and Notable Players in Holiday Spending
While customers tune out media, In-store marketing can converts shoppers to buyers
Shopping malls and their tenants suffer from “mall avoidance” while
Santa’s lap sees fewer little ones
Malls Fight Back but Lifestyle Centers see more shoppers
Kiosks and Automated stores offer flexibility and generate impulse sales
Channels
Department stores
Discounters
Warehouse clubs and Supercenters
Grocery jumps in with big ticket items
Drugstores make choices easy for Holiday spending
Holiday jewelry spending slides but the bridal industry keeps things afloat
Safety concerns, Easter, lead turnaround for the toy channel
Electronics retailers
Online Venues- Amazon.com is top of mind for holiday spending
Home and Furniture stores jump in too
Budgets and Payment Methods
The Future for Holiday Spending
Three factors will slow Consumer spending
Cause/green marketing works, but it must be sincere
Retailers will continue to create a “reason to buy”
“Gifts of experience” shine, but keep them simple
Lower prices, changing technology and broad distribution build holiday sales for electronic gifts
Pet indulgence continues
Coupons make a comeback
Gifts get personal
Getting shoppers back to the mall
Holiday spending 2008-2012, by occasion
Table 1-4: Holiday Spending, Projections 2008-2012 (million $)
Mother’s Day spending steady
Easter popularity builds
Valentine’s Day Steady
Father’s Day evolves
Halloween is getting all grown up
Summary
Chapter 2: Market Size and Growth
Introduction
Scope of Report
Report Methodology
Total Consumer Spending - Overview
Figure 2-1: Consumer Spending - Advance Retail Monthly Sales (in $ millions) GAFO, 1992-2007
Consumer Confidence and Spending
Figure 2-2: Consumer Confidence and Retail Spending, 2003-2008
Conscientious spenders
Fewer things, broader causes -- charitable donations rise
Figure 2-3: Cash contributions and Gift spending per Consumer Unit, 1990-2006
Table 2-1: Charitable Donations, 2007 and % change vs.
YA by type of organization
Total Holiday Spending - Overview
Winter Holidays will Account for 58% of Holiday Spending Dollars in 2008
Figure 2-4: Holiday Spending by Occasion, 2008
Table 2-2: Holiday Spending by Occasion, 2004-2008 (million $)
Why is Winter Holiday spending declining?
Many Factors Point to Lowered Spending on Winter Holidays
Table 2-3: U.S. Census Households by Composition
Impulse spending weakens
Spending Less on Others is a Trend
Figure 2-5: Annual Gift Spending in total and as a percentage of expenditures 1990-2006
Definition of “gift” gets fuzzy
Americans spend more…on themselves
Pets love Holidays too
The influence of religion on faith-based holidays can’t be measured 58
While Winter Holidays weaken, others shine
Table 2-4: Holiday Participation, 2003-2007/2008
Competition inspires creativity
Other Holiday spending
Greeting cards holding steady
Gift wrap and bag demand is steady
Spending on Décor on the Rise
Restaurants and Holiday takeout
Holiday Candy sales hold steady
Table 2-5: Holiday Candy sales for Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s and Halloween. All channels, 2004-2008* (million $)
Chapter 3: Holiday Spending by Occasion
Winter Holidays
Table 3-1: Participation in Winter Holidays, 2003-2007
Table 3-2: Participation in Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, 2003-2007
Christmas is big…but celebrations slide
St Nick’s had a long journey
Santa fatigue?
Tighter wallets?
Table 3-3: Winter Holiday Spending, per Household and Total, 2004-2008
Mall avoidance and impulse spending
Hanukah’s popularity difficult to trend
Kwanzaa celebrants’ reject commercialism
Family tops the gift list, but non-gift items see faster growth
Table 3-4: Winter Holiday Expenditures, by Household and Total, 2003-2007
Fewer gifts under a nicer tree
Are real trees more green? For some, it’s a tough sell
Gift givers get indecisive
Table 3-5: Winter Holiday Expenditures, by Household and Total, 2003-2007
Consumer Electronics and Computer Accessories Post Strongest Growth as
Gifts over Five Years
Mother’s Day
Table 3-6: Participation in Mother’s Day, 2004-2008
Table 3-7: Mother’s Day Spending, per respondent average, total (in $ millions) 2005-2008
Table 3-8: Who’s Getting the Mother’s Day Gifts, 2005-2008
A few buying a lot
Table 3-9: Type of gifts planned for Mother’s Day, 2005-2008
Moms love homemade gifts
But anything personal is appreciated
Fewer, more expensive cards
Easter
Table 3-10: Easter participation, 2003-2008
Table 3-11: Easter Spending, per respondent average & total (in $ millions), 2004-2008
Goodies hold up Easter spending
Table 3-12: Easter Spending, per respondent average total (in $ millions) 2004-2008
No Need for Easter Clothes
Valentine’s Day
Table 3-13: Valentine’s Day participation, 2004-2008
Table 3-14: Valentine’s Day Spending, 2004-2008
Table 3-15: Valentine’s Day Spending, per respondent average, total (in percent) 2004-2008
No Gift at All May be the Safest Kind
Father’s Day
Table 3-16: Participation in Father’s Day, 2004-2008
Table 3-17: Father’s Day Spending, per respondent average total (in $ millions), 2004-2008
Table 3-18: Who’s on the Father’s Day shopping list?, 2003-2007 “Plan to buy a Father’s Day gift for…”
Table 3-19: Type of gifts planned for Father’s Day, 2004-2008
Dad is tough to shop for
Halloween
Table 3-20: Halloween participation, 2003-2007
Table 3-21: Halloween spending per respondent average total (in $ millions), 2004-2007
Table 3-22: How will you celebrate Halloween? (Check all that apply)
Table 3- 23: What will you buy to celebrate Halloween?, 2003-2007
Table 3-24: How much do you plan to spend on Halloween related merchandise? per respondent average, total (in $ millions), 2003-2007
Chapter 4: Holiday Spending - the Consumer
Overview
Who gets gifts?
Family tops the list for Winter Holiday spending
Children drive gift spending
Younger people most likely to buy for friends
Generation Y, Hispanics, $75K+ income groups most likely to spread cheer to co-workers
Table 4-1: Co-worker gift spending, by age, race, and $75K+ incomes 2007, Percent spending a planned expenditure
Table 4-2: “Other” gift spending, by age, race, and $75K+ incomes 2007, Percent spending and planned expenditure
Co-workers and “Others” are first to get dropped from gift lists in lean times
Hispanics and higher income respondents don’t like to cut Winter Holiday gifts for outsiders, but they try to spend less
Pets are too cute to miss the fun, spending stable even in lean times
Who gives gifts?
Households with incomes of $150K spend three times on average for gifts
Income is a strong predictor of gift spending dollars
Table 4-3: Gift Spending by Income & Generosity (gift share of total spending) 2006, $ %
Middle aged are most generous
Table 4-4: Gift expenditures by age group 200
Even the well-to-do scale back
What do Holiday shoppers buy?
18-24-year-olds, Hispanics, Blacks favor clothing gifts, but middle-aged spend the most
Table 4-5: 2006 Annual gift spending on apparel and accessories, by age and ethnicity
Books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games appeal to younger households and those with kids
Table 4-6: Plan to buy Books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games for
Winter Holiday gifts, by household incomes, presence of kids, and employment status, 2007
Gift cards to bookstores third most popular kind of gift card
Gift cards and certificates have universal appeal
Gift cards and certificates are a planned gift
Card values steady, but higher income groups buy more of them
Table 4-7: Purchased gift cards, gift certificates for Winter Holiday gifts, by household income, presence of kids, and employment status, 2007
Lean times test the practicality of gift cards
Gift packaged chocolates and specialty food gifts
Consumer Food Gifting up 56% Since 2004; Now 15% of Gift Sales
Table 4-8: Percentage Purchasing Specialty Food Gifts, by Occasion
Valentine’s Day Biggest Occasion for Gift-packaged Candy
One-Third Give Specialty Food Gifts for Winter Holidays
All Other Spending
Decorations
Table 4-9: Percent than plan to buy decor for Winter Holidays, total, marital status, household type, employment status, race and income $75k+, 2007
Greeting cards and postage
Table 4-10: Percent that plan to buy cards and postage for Winter Holidays, total and by household type, employment status, race and income $75k+, 2007
Hispanics, $75K+ income groups are the biggest spenders on flowers and plants
Table 4-11: Percent that plan to buy flowers and plants for Winter
Holidays, total and by household type, employment status, race and income $75k+, 2007
When do people shop?
The earliest birds are retired females
Table 4-12: When will you do your Winter Holiday shopping?
Total, and by employment status and gender, 2007
Thanksgiving Weekend Shoppers- young, diverse and looking for bargains
Table 4-13: Will you shop Thanksgiving Weekend?, 2007
More push off shopping until the last minute
Spending on services outpaces goods
How people really feel about Winter Holiday gift spending
Holiday dropout?
Table 4-14: “Will you celebrate the upcoming Winter Holidays?” by Gender and Race, 2005-2007
An indulged shopper will indulge others
Nothing can replace the magic of a special gift
Chapter 5: Channels, Retail Formats, and Notable Players in Holiday Spending
Media and Advertising
Customers tune out media
Winter Holiday shopping frustrations are high
In store marketing - converting shoppers to buyers
Formats
Shopping malls and their tenants suffer from “mall avoidance”
Mall construction grinds to a halt
But malls have the best Santas
Santa’s lap sees fewer little ones
Malls Fight Back
Lifestyle Centers, not just a place to shop, but a “place to be”
Kiosks are visible, flexible and ideal for impulse sales
Automated Stores
Channels
Department stores
Table 5-1: Department store annual sales, YTD May Sales & Nov-Dec Sales 2006-2008 (in million $)
Figure 5-1: Department store monthly sales, 2006- May 2008 (in million $) Discount Department Stores
Table 5-2: Winter Holiday shopping destinations October & December 2007 Discount Department stores, Department Stores & Online
Company profile: Macy’s Inc.
Differentiating itself
Discounters
Table 5-3: Discount Department store annual sales, YTD May Sales & Nov-Dec Sales 2006-2008 (in million $)
Figure 5-2: Discount department store monthly sales, 2006-May 2008 (in billion $)
Table 5-4: Plan on buying gifts at Discount department stores this year Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, 2006-2008
Company Profile - Target
Table 5-5: Target sales and growth, 2002-2006 (in million $)
Warehouse clubs and Supercenters
Table 5-6: Warehouse clubs and Superstores, Annual Sales, Winter Holiday Sales % Change vs. YA 2008-May 2008 (in billion $)
Figure 5-3: Warehouse club and Supercenter monthly sales, 2006-May 2008 (in billion $)
Company Profile - Wal-Mart
Grocery jumps in with big ticket items
Table 5-7: Grocery Annual Sales, Winter Holiday Sales % Change vs. YA 2002-2006 (in million $)
Drugstores make choices easy for Holiday spending
Table 5-8: Pharmacies and Drug stores, Annual Sales, Winter Holiday Sales % Change vs. YA 2008-May 2006 (in million $)
Holiday jewelry spending slides but the bridal industry keeps things afloat
Table 5-9: Jewelry stores Annual Sales, Winter Holiday Sales % Change vs. YA 2006-May 2008 (in million $)
Figure 5-4: Jewelry stores monthly sales, 2006-May 2008 (in million $)
Table 5-10: Plan to buy Jewelry as a gift, Mother’s Day, Winter Holidays & Valentine’s Day, 2005-2008 Percentage of respondents
Safety concerns, Easter, lead turnaround for the toy channel
Table 5-11: Hobby, toy, and game stores, Annual Sales, Winter Holiday Sales % Change vs. YA 2006-May 2008 (in million $)
Figure 5-5: Hobby, toy and game stores, monthly sales, 2006-May 2008 (in million $)
Must have toys for Winter Holidays
Electronics retailers
Table 5-12: Radio, TV and other electronic Stores, Annual Sales, Winter Holiday Sales % Change vs. YA 2006-2008 YTD May (in million $)
Table 5-13: Plan to buy Consumer electronics or computer related accessories as a gift Winter Holidays, Father’s Day & Mother’s Day, 2004-2008 Percentage of respondents
Figure 5-6: Radio, TV, and other electronic Stores Monthly sales, 2006-May 2008 (in million $)
Online Venues- Amazon.com is top of mind for holiday spending
Table 5-14: Estimated Quarterly U.S. Retail Sales -Adjusted: Total and E-commerce sales, Q1 2005-Q1 2008
Table 5-15: Plan to shop online, Winter Holidays, Father’s Day & Mother’s Day, 2004-2008 Percentage of respondents
Table 5-16: ONE site where Winter Holiday shoppers did most of their shopping and change vs. year ago, January 2007 & 2008 Percentage selecting by site
Gift cards may be losing their luster
Table 5-17: Types of Winter Holiday Gifts Respondents Prefer to Receive, 2007 (percent)
Table 5-18: Plan to buy a gift card or gift certificate, Winter Holidays, Father’s
Day & Mother’s Day 2005-2008 (percent)
Clothing retailers
Table 5-19: Plan to buy clothing for the Holiday, Winter Holidays, Easter, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Point change vs. year ago 2005-2008 YTD June
Home and Furniture stores jump in too
Budgets and Payment Methods
Payment methods vary by consumer
Table 5-20: Payment methods used most often (ONE ONLY), Winter Holidays 2004-2008
Table 5-21: Preferred credit card, Winter Holidays 2004-2008 Women more likely to budget
Chapter 6: The Future for Holiday Spending
Holiday spending is discretionary
Three factors will slow Consumer spending
Cause/green marketing works, but it must be sincere
Retailers will continue to create a “reason to buy”
“Gifts of experience” shine, but keep them simple
Lower prices, changing technology and broad distribution build
holiday sales for electronic gifts
Pet indulgence continues
Coupons make a comeback
Gifts get personal
Procrastination and Mall Avoidance
Holiday spending 2008-2012, by occasion
Christmas in July?
Table 6-1: Holiday Spending: Projections, 2008-2012 (million $)
Mother’s Day spending steady
Easter popularity builds
Valentine’s Day Steady
Father’s Day evolves
Halloween is getting all grown up
Summary
Appendix: Addresses of Selected Marketers

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