Holiday shopping is in full swing and consumers still have a lot more spending to do, according to a new consumer sentiment survey released by the National Retail Federation.
“This holiday season retailers will experience the growing purchasing power of Gen Z and Millennials,” NRF President Matthew Shay said.
While 77% of all consumers surveyed said they would spend the same or more this year, 43% of young adults ages 18-24 and 38% of those 25-34 said they would spend more. Only 9% of those 65 and older are planning to spend more.
The survey found that 50% of consumers who own smartphones or tablets said they would use them to research their holiday purchases.
Top gifts continue to be clothing and accessories, to be purchased by 59% of consumers, gift cards (56%), toys (41%) and books/music/movies (40%).
Spending on gift cards is on the rise and is expected to reach $29.9 billion, up from last year’s estimated $27.6 billion. Holiday shoppers plan to purchase an average of four gift cards worth about $49 each.
The most popular gift cards include those for restaurants (purchased by 36% of buyers), department stores (32%), coffee shops (22%) and entertainment (17%).
For girls, Barbie tops the list for the fourth year, followed by other dolls and L.O.L. Surprise dolls. Other hot toys for girls include LEGOs, American Girl, Hatchimals and Disney Princess.
For boys, LEGOs are again at the top of the list, followed by cars and trucks and video games. Others include Hot Wheels, Marvel action figures/toys, Paw Patrol, Nerf and gaming systems like Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox.
Credit cards continue to be the most popular form of payment, used by 42% of shoppers. Debit cards are a close second, used by 39%, while 17% of plan to pay with cash and 2% will use checks.