Holiday shoppers starting earlier, but will spend conservatively


More than half of Americans already have started their holiday shopping, the National Retail Federation announced today, up slightly from a year ago.

But when it all shakes out, they’ll spend only slightly more than last year — $750 this season compared to $741 last year.

“We’ve seen this pattern of cautious optimism all year and despite the challenges that still exist in our economy, it looks as if consumers are eager to celebrate with friends and family,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “As the most promotional time of the year, retailers will continue to look for ways to  stand out, specifically with attractive deals on toys, electronics and apparel, even well before the ‘official’ start of the holiday shopping season – Black Friday and Cyber Monday.”

What are we looking at this season? As usual, the most popular choices are clothing and gift cards. Jewelry is predicted to pick up this year to pre-2007 levels, for the first time.

The NRF also stated the this season’s shoppers will be more reluctant to pull out the plastic to pay for their items, instead preferring to use money they’ve saved up or have on hand.

— Rachel Pritchett

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