American Research Group, Inc.

 

 

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November 15, 2013

2013 Christmas Gift Spending Plans Stall

Shoppers around the country say they are planning to spend an average of $801 for gifts this holiday season, down from $854 last year according to the twenty-ninth annual survey on holiday spending from the American Research Group, Inc.

In telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,100 adults nationwide conducted November 10 through 14, 2013, the average planned spending of $801 for 2013 is down over 6% from average planned spending in the 2012 survey.

Year Average Spending Percent Change
2013 $801 - 6%
2012 $854 + 32%
2011 $646 - 2%
2010 $658 + 58%
2009 $417 - 3%
2008 $431 - 50%
2007 $859 - 5%
2006 $907 - 4%
2005 $942 - 6%
2004 $1,004 + 3%
2003 $976 - 6%

Average planned spending peaked in 2001 at $1,052. While average planned spending has recovered from $417 in 2009, average planned spending for 2013 is still below average planned spending of $859 in 2007.

When average planned spending is adjusted for inflation beginning with the first survey in 1985, the average planned spending of $801 in 2013 would be worth $368 in 1985. The plateau in 1998-2002 and then the decline of real average planned spending that started in 2003 point once again to the challenges facing retailers. The bright spot this year, however, is that 23% of consumers say they will pay full price for Christmas gifts this year, which is up from 18% in 2012.

A total of 38% of shoppers say they plan to make holiday purchases from catalogs and other direct marketers.

Year Make Purchases From Catalogs
2013 38%
2012 40%
2011 42%
2010 26%
2009 36%
2008 43%
2007 51%
2006 50%
2005 47%
2004 47%
2003 42%

The average spending for those saying they plan to make catalog purchases is $1,166, compared to $808 in 2012, $808 in 2011, $560 in 2010, $450 in 2009, $496 in 2008, $1,022 in 2007, and $1,455 in 2006.

The planned use of the Internet to purchase gifts is at 43%.

Year Make Purchases On the Internet
2013 43%
2012 45%
2011 37%
2010 40%
2009 42%
2008 30%
2007 36%
2006 44%
2005 43%
2004 37%
2003 29%

The average planned spending by those saying they will make purchases on the Internet is $1,109, compared to $1,245 in 2012, $714 in 2011, $1083 in 2010, $641 in 2009, $536 in 2008, $967 in 2007, $1,501 in 2006, and $1,498 in 2005.

Shoppers continue to say that they are more apt to wait for sales. When asked if they will pay full price for the gifts they purchase this year or if they will wait for the gifts to go on sale, 23% of shoppers say they plan to pay full price, 46% say they plan to wait until the items go on sale, and 31% say it will depend on the gifts.

Year Pay Full Price Wait for Sale Depends on The Gifts
2013 23% 46% 31%
2012 18% 54% 28%
2011 16% 53% 31%
2010 19% 55% 26%
2009 23% 53% 24%
2008 14% 50% 36%
2007 16% 50% 34%
2006 11% 33% 56%
2005 13% 75% 11%
2004 16% 65% 17%
2003 19% 61% 16%

Shoppers saying they will pay full price plan on spending $930, compared to $1,351 in 2012, $751 in 2011, $413 in 2010, $402 in 2009, $751 in 2008, and $763 in 2007.

Those waiting for sales plan on spending $589, compared to $593 in 2012, $761 in 2011, $667 in 2010, $437 in 2009, $382 in 2008, and $805 in 2007.

And those saying it depends on the gifts plan on spending $1,071, compared to $1,005 in 2012, $396 in 2011, $1,179 in 2010, $383 in 2009, $373 in 2008, and $993 in 2007.

A total of 38% of consumers say they have started their Christmas shopping.

Year Have Started Christmas Shopping
2013 38%
2012 40%
2011 39%
2010 38%
2009 41%
2008 40%
2007 43%
2006 61%
2005 59%
2004 55%
2003 44%

The average planned spending for shoppers who have already started their holiday shopping is $727, compared to $699 in 2012, $734 in 2011, $1,044 in 2010, $544 in 2009, $602 in 2008, $1,068 in 2007, and $1,093 in 2006.

The average for those who have not started their shopping is $846, compared to $950 in 2012, $591 in 2011, $441 in 2010, $329 in 2009, $316 in 2008, $724 in 2007, and $616 in 2006.


About this survey:

Survey Sponsor: American Research Group, Inc.

The American Research Group has been conducting national surveys of consumers since 1985.

Sample Size: 1,100 completed telephone interviews among a random sample of all adults age 18 and older living in telephone households in the continental United States.

Sample Dates: November 10-14, 2013

Margin of Error: ± 3 percentage points, 95% of the time, on questions where opinion is evenly split.

Question Wording:

What do you think you will spend on gifts this Christmas?

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

Will you make any purchases through catalogs?

Will you make any purchases on the Internet?

When you purchase Christmas gifts this year, will you pay full price for the gifts or will you wait to see if the gifts go on sale?

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