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Just The Numbers: NPD 2021 Holiday Retail Sales

October 15, 2021 BeautyMatter
October 15, 2021
Annie Spratt via Unsplash

The NPD Group estimates holiday spending this year will increase 3% during the traditional November and December holiday shopping season, and 5% when the season is expanded to include early shopping in October and late buying into early January. New insights reveal that 29% of US consumers plan to spend more on holiday shopping than they did last year, despite unchanged feelings about their own personal financial situations and the state of the economy.

“It's going to be a hybrid holiday this year, blending the return of a celebratory feeling with the now normalized pandemic lifestyle," said Marshal Cohen, Chief Retail Industry Advisor for NPD. "We expect the consumer's sustained propensity to spend will carry through the traditional November and December shopping period. However, shopping in the here-and-now, and other spending styles that have emerged during the pandemic will bring additional growth to the expanded October-into-January shopping season this year.”

  • One-third of consumers plan to buy more gifts because they will be seeing family and friends over the holidays.
  • 47% of consumers expect to visit or host family and friends for the holidays..
  • 58% are more comfortable shopping in stores, now that vaccines are widely available.
  • 32% of consumers are less concerned than they were last year about the COVID-19 virus.
  • The amount consumers plan to spend this year has increased, driven by consumers who plan to spend $1,000 or more.
  • 51% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, compared to 49% last year.
  • More shopping continues to move online, with those who were store-only shoppers shifting to shopping both in stores and online.
  • Free shipping, the top influencer for deciding where to shop, gained importance again this year. Quality and value also gained ground, compared to last year.

“New optimism, along with underlying uncertainty, are fueling shopping expectations, making this a more complex holiday season for consumers and marketers, alike," Cohen said. "But retailers and manufacturers that remain flexible will be able to navigate the diverse landscape of consumer behavior and arrive at a successful holiday result.”

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