Holiday spending expected to rise for spouses and children, up 3.5% overall

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 377 views 

Holiday spending is expected to top $680 billion this year, which equates to $967.13 per household, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s about 3.5% more than they spent last year.

But when asked how households will divide up the spending it’s clear the children and significant others will be the big winners this holiday season, according to research completed by Fayetteville-based Field Agent.

Field Agent said surveyed consumers plan to spend an average of $295 on their significant other. The median spend was $200 and the most common answer among those surveyed was $100. In order to surprise their spouses, the majority (54%) said they will buy clothing and footwear for their hubby. About one-third (34%) said they will make an entertainment purchase, while 33% will buy body fragrances and 31% plan to purchase jewelry. Gift cards also remain popular with three in 10 planning this gift for their spouse.

Field Agent also asked its survey respondents to disclose what women want most for Christmas and also what men are hoping to get. Following are the top 10 items women said they wanted for Christmas.
1. Clothing/shoes
2. Vacation/trips
3. Kitchenware
4. Money/gift cards
5. Laptop
6. Smartphone
7. Smartwatch
8. Handbag
9. Vehicle
10. Camera

The top specific gift wishes by women were the MacBook Pro Laptop, Apple Watch, KitchenAid Mixer, Samsung Galaxy S8, and the iPad.

Men taking part in the survey want electronics this holiday. Following are the top 10 gift wishes by the men survey.
1. Smartphone (iPhone X)
2. Money/Gift Cards (Amazon)
3. Vehicle
4. Laptop
5. Video Games Consoles (Xbox One)
6. TV
7. Firearm / accessories
8. Speakers
9. Smartwatch (Apple Watch)
10. Sports Tickets

Christmas is always special to children and this year spending per child is a hefty $255 on average, according the Field Agent study. The most common answer and the median answer was $200 per child. Consumers said they plan to give their children most or some of what they ask for this year. Field Agent said 56% of those surveyed plan to spend more on their kids this year. Four in 10 said they will give their children everything on their lists, while 8% said they expect to give their kids a little of what they asked for this holiday season.

The majority of the spending is expected to be on apparel for the kids as 81% said they will give their children new wearables. Six out of 10 (62%) said they will make entertainment purchases for their kids, while 34% will spend on video games and 33% will purchase gift cards. About one-quarter of consumers will purchase arts and crafts, or action figures for their kids, while 12% will purchase athletic gear or give cash. One in 10 consumers will spend on building sets and 5% said they will purchase dolls.

Gift cards came up as a favorite holiday item among the men and women surveyed, but overall 62% of those surveyed said gift cards lack creativity and thought. That said 58% of those surveyed said they agree gift cards make great Christmas gifts. Another 20% slightly agree and 10% were neutral.

Field Agent also asked consumers where they plan to shop this year and how much of their shopping would be online. The majority of shoppers do plan to make some purchases in brick and mortar stores, with 33% saying they will likely shop between 6 and 10 different retailers, with 66% planning to purchase gifts online this year.

Following are the top 10 retailers mentioned by consumers in the survey.
1. Amazon (61%)
2. Walmart (52%)
3. Target (36%)
4. Best Buy (16%)
5. Kohl’s (15%)
6. Bath & Body Works (10%)
7. Toys R Us (10%)
8. Costco (9%)
9. Macy’s (8%)
10. Bed, Bath, & Beyond (6%)