Christmas shopping trends: How Americans are spending this year

On an average, men are expected to spend around $1046 during this holiday season while the number is $952 for women, according to a survey.
Christmas shopping trends: How Americans are spending this year
The season of holidays is here and along with that comes the good time of shopping. It is the perfect time to decorate your house, invite your friends and family and celebrate a good time. But with that comes the expenses of decoration and gifting too.
In this article

Did you know that, on average, Americans are expected to buy gifts worth $998 this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation (NRF)? The Covid-19 pandemic has brought tough times but that hasn’t stopped Americans from shopping. Shopping trends this Christmas are said to be rising after the pandemic slump.

During the last holiday season, a total of $789 billion was spent by Americans. Here are how the statistics for shopping look this Christmas and what are the key takeaways from the survey.

Current statistics for Christmas

Americans are likely to spend $998 dollars during this holiday season, especially for Christmas. According to the NRF survey, out of this $998: 

  • $118 would be for purchases that don’t include gifts. 
  • $648 would be for gifting presents to family, friends and others.
  • $231 would be spent on decorative items, cards and food. 

Inflation also has a part here. The CPI (Consumer Price Index) has been increasing rapidly and that also impacts the prices of items people buy during Christmas.

Also Know: Emotional Spending: Never Over-Express It, Not Now!

Christmas shopping trends last year 

In 2020, the retail sales during Christmas increased by 8.3%. That was more than what we saw in the past 5 years and these numbers are just for the month of November and December. The main reason for this increase in shopping was that people didn’t have anything else to spend the money on because traveling was already a far-fetched dream. So, people spent their money into shopping. 

Because of the pandemic, people prefer to not visit a store and fulfilled their desires of shopping through online platforms. In 2020, online sales contributed to $209 billion of spending which is more than 24% compared to 2019. 

Also Know:‘Tis the season: Are your finances ready for a holly jolly Christmas?

Cost of gifting this Christmas

When we think about gifts, the first thing that comes to mind is clothing or accessory items. This is the largest contributor to the total gifting picture, amounting to 22%. After that comes giving cash, subscriptions, data plans and gift cards to friends and family. And the last on the list is giving food items, beverages and electronic appliances that comprises 14% of the total gift costs. 

Have a look at the below table based on the 2021 Deloitte holiday retail survey to understand how much Americans spend on average for different gifting items.

Category Spending on average 
Health and wellness$156
Toys and hobbies$187
Home and kitchen$193
Food and beverage$220
Gift cards and other$235
Electronics and accessories$243
Clothing and accessories$304

For the current holiday season, the contribution of gift cards is likely to increase by 27%. On average, Americans are anticipated to spend $272 dollars on gift cards in 2021.

Also Know About: Christmas spending: 8 fascinating statistics for 2021

Holiday spending across the country 

According to a report issued by the US Chamber of Commerce, Maryland is the highest spending state. Below is the list of the highest holiday spending states and how much an individual spends on an average.

  1. Maryland – $2,241
  2. Utah – $2,195
  3. Hawaii – $1,887
  4. New Jersey – $1,843
  5. Virginia – $1,596

Here are the lowest holiday spending states with how much an individual spends on an average.

  1. West Virginia – $60
  2. Vermont – $111
  3. Montana – $328
  4. Louisiana – $342
  5. New Mexico – $373

Holiday spending demographics 

The age of consumers also matters when it comes to holiday spending. People having stable jobs such as those between the age group of 25 to 34 have more capacity to spend on gifting. And thus their spending is higher compared to people aged below 25. 

On average, men are expected to spend around $1046 during this holiday season while the number is $952 for women as per the data by NRF. You can get to know more about this holiday spending pattern from the table below.

Age group Spending amount
More than 65$1077
55 to 65$999
45 to 54$1162
35 to 44$1084
25 to 34$889
18 to 24$650

Stopping pattern this holiday season

According to a survey, people are afraid to go into stores and shop. Due to Covid-19, 40% of Americans fear shopping in-store. Though the good news is that the percentage of this has reduced as in 2020, Christmas shopping trends in stores was 51%. 

Around 62% of shoppers use online shopping platforms, according to the report. Even retailers have started to increase their online presence in order to attract consumers. In this digital era, social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook also have a higher influence on people and play a vital role in attracting Gen Z and millennials.

Some Relevant Articles: Christmas on a budget: Don’t miss out on all the funds

The bottom line

Holidays are going to come and go but the main factor is that you have to control your spending and still enjoy the season. Here’s how much of your income you should spend this Christmas. If you are wondering how you can do it the answer is simple. Make a list, create your budget, try giving handmade gifts and plan in advance to reduce spending and save money. Implement these simple steps and enjoy this Christmas with friends and family.

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Devanshee Dave

Devanshee Dave

With over 4 years of experience in financial writing and a master’s degree in mass communication & journalism, Devanshee is currently preparing for her CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exams. In her spare time, she likes to dance and learn about cosmology, astronomy and anything that can expand her knowledge from the big bang to the big crunch.

This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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