EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2395 - October 20, 2010     4 of 5

NRF Holiday Shopping Survey: Fewer Vacuum Cleaners, More Jewelry

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While many traditional categories like clothing and books will appear on a consumers' wish lists this year, one item will appear more often than a year ago: jewelry. According to the National Retail Federation's 2010 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, 23 percent of people will ask for jewelry this year, a significant 10 percent jump from last year. According to the retail trade organization, it's a sign that discretionary gifts may become more popular this holiday shopping season after the recession saw shoppers buying practical goods in recent years.

NRF's survey, conducted by BIGresearch, found that U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $688.87 on holiday-related shopping, a slight rise from last year's $681.83. The number of people who say they would make a holiday purchase from a discounter dropped from 70.1 percent last year to 65.1 percent this year. Popular holiday shopping destinations will include department stores (54.5%), grocery stores (46.7%), the Internet (43.9%) and clothing stores (33.6%).

Gift cards will remain the most requested holiday gift this year (57%), while clothing (48.2%) and books (47.3%) remain popular.

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said consumers will still shop with the economy in the back of their minds, "but we're starting to see shoppers take baby steps toward a new normal. As Americans open up their wallets for more discretionary gifts like jewelry or take advantage of sales to buy for themselves, retailers will begin to truly believe that the worst may be behind them."

The research also showed that people going online to shop this year are not just bargain hunters. People who shop online will spend 25% more than the average adult - over $850. They're also more likely to shop early and shop for themselves.

Mobile devices like iPhones and Androids are becoming more popular among consumers, and many shoppers plan to use these devices this holiday season to look for gift ideas, compare prices and find items in nearby stores. According to the survey, over one-fourth of American adults with a smartphone (26.8%) will use these devices to research or make holiday purchases, and that number jumps to 45% among young adults aged 18-24.

The NRF expects holiday sales to rise 2.3 percent to $447.1 billion.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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