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Jewelry, Gift Cards Top Holiday Wish Lists

MediaPostNews MarketingDaily

Published: October 19, 2010
By Sarah Mahoney

With fewer feeling economically pinched this year, the National Retail Federation says people will spend an average of $688.87 on holiday-related shopping, an elfin increase from last year’s $681.83. Among the most hopeful signs is that 23% will ask for jewelry this holiday, a 10% jump from last year. And gift cards continue to be the most-requested gift, with 57% putting them on their wish list.

The survey, conducted for the NRF by BIGresearch and based on more than 8,700 adults, reports that total spending on gifts is likely to rise 2.1% to $518.08, with $393.55 earmarked for family, $71.45 for friends, $18.26 for co-workers, and $34.82 for others. Americans also plan to spend $41.51 on decorations, $26.10 on greeting cards and postage, $86.32 on food and candy, and $16.86 on flowers.

People seem to be taking “baby steps toward a new normal,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says in its release. “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.”

This year, 61.7% of shoppers say the economy will impact their spending — fewer than the 65.3% who expressed that sentiment last year at this time. And while 41.8% of those surveyed say price will be the main driver in what they buy, just 65.1% say they made a holiday purchase at a discounter this year, down from 70.1% a year ago.

Almost 80% will do some buying online, with the average person planning to click their way through about 32.7% of their holiday shopping. And 26.8% of those with smartphones will use them to research or make holiday purchases; among those 18 to 24, 45% will. The NRF says it expects more stores to work this trend with new apps and mobile reviews.