How consumers are spending their holiday dollars
Despite some trepidation about the state of the economy, consumers are adding a few more dollars to their holiday budgets, while keeping an eye out for discounts and deals.
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to shell out an average $688.87 on holiday-related shopping, a marginal increase from the previous year's $681.83. Much of this year's budget, roughly $393.55, will be spent on gifts for friends and family, with the remaining portion divided among co-workers, decorations, candy and flowers.
Planned spending on family and friends is the highest it has been since before the crash of the market, while the amount spent on gifts for co-workers is about on par with the outlay of 2007. On average, consumers plan to spend a little less on decorations and holiday-related food. Greeting cards and postage expenses are likely to be the same as the year before. Overall, those surveyed, about 8,767 people, were keen on shifting their money toward gifts for their loved ones.
Gift cards are expected to be a favorite among would-be Santas, looking to cover as many friends and family on a limited dime. Clothing and books were high on the wish list among those surveyed by the NRF, as was jewelry.
Even with more to spend, consumers remain sensitive to price points coming out of a recession. Retailers seem well aware of this mind-set and have been more aggressive, and creative, at touting their promotions. Most big-box and department stores started promoting their Black Friday deals the day after Halloween. On average, these discounts knock 20 percent to 30 percent off the list price. Whether that is enough to meet consumers' deal expectations is up in the air.
MORE BLACK FRIDAY COVERAGE:
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Full coverage: Black Friday 2010
Danielle Douglas | Capital Business
| November 22, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
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