Around 25% of US consumers plans to spend more on holiday shopping this year compared to 20% in 2013, amid signs of increased optimism about their personal finances, according to Accenture‘s annual holiday shopping survey.
The survey also found that consumer enthusiasm for Black Friday shopping has reached its highest level in eight years.
Around 66% of consumers said they are likely to shop on Black Friday, compared to 55% who planned to do so in 2013 and 44% who said the same, back in 2007.
In addition, 37% plan to shop online during that period using a desktop, mobile device or tablet, which is up from 32% in 2013.
Consumers’ optimism to shop on Thanksgiving Day and evening rose to 45% from 38% in 2013.
Of those consumers planning to shop on the holiday, 47% said that they will be shopping in a physical store between 6 PM Thanksgiving Day and 5 AM on Black Friday.
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The Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey found that consumers are planning to allocate a greater share of wallet to holiday shopping than in previous years.
Of those planning to spend more this year, 47% plan to spend $250 or more compared to 40% in 2013. Of the 19% of consumers who plan to spend less this year, 41% said they will reduce the amount they spend by less than $100.
Nearly all respondents (96% versus 94% in 2013) said that discounts will be important to their purchasing decisions, and more than one in four (29%) said that it would take a discount of 50% or more to persuade them to make a purchase.
The survey revealed that 49% of consumers had already started, or planned to start, the majority of their shopping in September, well in advance of Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
Nearly one-fifth of survey respondents (19%) said they had already spent between $100 and $500 on holiday gift purchases by mid-September of this year.
The results of the survey further showed that despite some consumers seeing an increase in discretionary income, rising prices – specifically for food, gas and home energy bills – remain a concern among some consumers and will affect some spending this holiday season.
Of the 61% of consumers planning to shop in a physical store on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, the majority (56%) are planning to go to three or more stores.
Nearly half (49%) believe that the best deals of the season are on Thanksgiving, Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Fewer shoppers than last year (32%, down from 41% in 2013) said that interfering with family time was a reason to not shop in a physical store on Thanksgiving.