Upsurge in holiday shopping spending

Dec. 1, 2017
by Mark Ollig

Thanksgiving is over, and that can mean only one thing: it’s time for the holiday shopping season.

The National Retail Foundation (NRF) reports consumers will be spending, on average, $967 during this holiday season.

The dollar amount breaks down as follows:

• $608 on presents for family, friends, and coworkers;

• $218 on holiday purchases such as decorations, food, and candy; and

• $141 on other “non-gift” purchases for their families and themselves.

With its headquarters in Washington, DC, the latest NRF survey revealed 164 million Americans shopped during this year’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Sunday, and Thanksgiving Day.

This week’s Cyber Monday online shopping revenue was estimated to have been $6.6 billion.

Anticipated total holiday retail sales revenue this year is predicted to be nearly $679 billion, which is $23 billion more than last year.

NRF states 73 percent of the shoppers will partake in charitable giving during this holiday season.

Individual state retail associations, such as the Minnesota Retailers Association, are a branch of the NRF; its website is http://www.mnretail.org.

“Retail in Minnesota is so much more than inventory and cash registers. Minnesota retailers don’t just sell a product, they sell a whole experience,” states a message on their website.

In Minnesota, 69,575 retail establishments support 782,000 jobs. Our home-state retail business revenues provided nearly 16 percent of Minnesota’s overall 2016 gross domestic product (GDP), which was $296 billion.

Minnesota provided 1.81 percent of the 2016 US GDP, ranking it 17th out of all state economies.

Here’s an NRF fun fact: All 20,000 Mall of America parking spaces could fill with Minnesotans supported by our state’s retail businesses.

A brief video from the National Retailers Association regarding retail business in Minnesota is available at http://bit.ly/2A9sukJ.

In the US, 3.8 million retail establishments provide 42 million jobs, with combined GDP revenues of $2.6 trillion.

The NRF November survey reports 46 percent of younger consumers, age 18 to 24, said they plan to spend more this holiday season.

Out of all consumer age groups, 54 percent said they would spend the same, while 16.6 percent said less.

One often-purchased holiday gift is the ever-reliable gift card; for when you just can’t come up with a gift idea for that hard-to-buy-for person.

Most holiday shoppers will end up buying four gift cards, averaging $45 each.

I was surprised to learn the total spending on this year’s holiday gift cards is estimated to be $27.6 billion.

NRF’s November survey breaks down the percentages of the type of retail holiday gift cards consumers will be purchasing this year:

• restaurant – 36 percent;

• department store – 33 percent;

• various dollar amount credit cards – 24 percent;

• coffeehouse shops – 21 percent;

• movies/music/entertainment – 18 percent;

• online retail business – 14 percent;

• electronics store – 14 percent;

• bookstore – 12 percent;

• grocery/gasoline – 11 percent; and

• individual gas station – 9 percent.

I learned the NRF has the most members of any retail trade association on the planet.

Follow the National Retailers Association on Twitter at @nrfnews.

Be sure to visit my Bits & Bytes online webpage at https://bitscolumn.blogspot.com.

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