Dec 7, 2023 - Economy

Shoppers increase holiday budgets ahead of Christmas

Data: Gallup; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Gallup; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Christmas countdown is on and consumers have increased gift budgets in the final weeks of the holiday shopping season, according to a new Gallup survey.

Why it matters: Despite falling consumer sentiment, Americans plan to spend an average of $975 on gifts — a $52 increase from what consumers thought in October, the survey found.

  • The holiday spending estimate is also up $100 from last year, the survey of 1,009 U.S. adults shows.
  • Consumers' estimates normally decline — not increase — as the season progresses, Gallup notes.

The big picture: The expected December holiday rush spending spree follows a record-breaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

  • What shoppers told Gallup they will spend depends on multiple factors including age and income.
  • Households with children plan to spend $1,306, compared with $835 among those in households without children.

Zoom out: A separate Gallup survey of 1,888 shoppers released Thursday found that 49% of consumers will do all or most of their holiday shopping this month.

  • 9 in 10 shoppers will buy at least some gifts in December.
  • 56% said they are more likely to shop in physical retail stores in December than in other months, the Shopify-Gallup Holiday Shopper Pulse survey found.

What's next: In-store sales are expected to peak seven days before Christmas, according to data from Criteo.

  • Sherry Smith, a general manager of global enterprise for Criteo, told Axios that many retailers are expecting a "last-minute shopping rush and will continue to offer deals and discounts through the end of the year."

Super Saturday to be a busy shopping day

Context: Super Saturday (Dec. 23) and the third Saturday in Dec. (Dec. 16) are expected to be two of the busiest shopping days of the season, only trailing Black Friday, Sensormatic Solutions predicts.

Three other December days at the top of the list:

  • Friday, Dec. 22
  • Tuesday, Dec. 26
  • Saturday, Dec. 9

Extended store hours

Reality check: Longer store hours are typical for the final days and weeks of the shopping season and Target and Kohl's are among the retailers keeping doors open later.

  • Many Target stores are open from 7am to midnight daily, according to the company's store locator.
  • Kohl's is extending store hours starting Dec. 15 when most stores will be open from 8am to midnight through Dec. 22.

Be smart: Retailers' store locators typically have location-specific hours. It's best to check your closest store's hours before planning a late-night shopping trip.

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