NRF survey projects modest holiday sales, spending increases

Although consumers plan to spend an average of $649 this holiday season—a 2.6% increase over last holiday’s projected spending—a new National Retail Federation (NRF) survey shows that many shoppers will be more cautious this year. In fact, the study shows that 33% of respondents plan to spend less than they did last year, while 56% plan to spend about the same.

Prior to the survey, which was conducted by BIGresearch for NRF, the NRF had projected an overall 4% sales increase over last year’s holiday sales of $201 billion. NRF’s definition of holiday retail sales includes stores and other channels that sell general merchandise, clothing and clothing accessories, furniture and home furnishings, electronics, appliances, sporting goods, hobbies, books, and music.

But the BIGresearch survey validates NRF’s projections says NRF spokesperson Scott Krugman, because consumers usually spend more than they initially think they’ll spend. “We base our forecast on more than just consumer spending estimates,” he says.

The consumer survey shows that 77% of consumers plan to shop at discount department stores, 53% in department stores, 46% over the Internet, 45% through specialty retailers, and 37% through catalogs.

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