Consumers strolling through many large grocery stores or warehouse retailers these days are likely to get the feeling we're halfway through November, rather than rounding the corner on Halloween. That holiday creep continues to come earlier each year, although a survey released by the National Retail Federation today shows that most consumers don't plan on starting their holiday shopping until next month.
The annual survey, which polled 8,585 consumers nationwide, predicts that shoppers on average will spend $704 this year on holiday gifts and decorations, about $15 less than last year. Still, the trade group forecasts, shoppers will spend 2.8 percent more overall during the holiday shopping season of November and December than last year.
Those two months are important for retailers and toy manufacturers, both of which typically expect to bring in a good chunk of their annual sales during the holidays.
Toy-makers Hasbro Inc. and Mattel Inc., which both released quarterly financial results in recent days, said they expect robust sales this holiday season. But, remaining cautious, the manufacturers said they plan lean inventories so as not to be stuck with too many toys in need of discounting in December if sales slow.
A look at the numbers:
$465.6 billion Total spending this holiday season, as predicted by the National Retail Federation
$417 Average that consumers say they'll spend on children and other family this holiday season
60 Percent of shoppers who admit they'll buy items for themselves during holiday sales
18 Percent of shoppers in the 11-state Western region -- the highest of the four geographic areas -- who say they will make more gifts this year
$105.42 Average amount consumers expect to spend on food and candy for the holidays
Sources: National Retail Federation and BIGresearch
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