9 fun facts about Christmas and holiday shopping

BY ZACHARY HORNER, News + Record Staff
Posted 12/20/19

So it’s Christmas time, which means there’s a lot of business and economy things we could talk about. But we’re going to focus on shopping.

Here’s nine fun facts about Christmas shopping, …

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9 fun facts about Christmas and holiday shopping

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So it’s Christmas time, which means there’s a lot of business and economy things we could talk about. But we’re going to focus on shopping.

Here’s nine fun facts about Christmas shopping, money spent on Christmas presents and more. Some of these are North Carolina-based and some are nationwide, and some are a little off-the-wall. Maybe you can sling them around and look smart in front of your family around the dinner table.

Merry Christmas!

Consumer spending per household is expected to drop this year, slightly

Deloitte says consumers are planning to spend an average of $1,496 per household on Christmas gifts this year, a drop from the $1,536 planned in 2018. Perhaps that’s because, as the company states, fewer than 40 percent of shoppers expect the economy to improve next year, a 13 percent drop from last year.

“Consumer confidence and their personal financial situation are important determinants heading into the holiday season,” the report stated. “While consumers are still expecting to spend, there are signals of uncertainty.”

Hang an ornament: 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. every year

The National Christmas Tree Association says there are close to 350 million real trees across the country right now, grown in all 50 states. The NCTA also says that there are close to 15,000 farms and 350,000 acres dedicated to Christmas tree-growing.

Running out of ideas? Try gift cards

The NRF also stated that 59 percent of shoppers said they’d like to receive gift cards, with women preferring them at a 67 percent rate and men at a 50 percent rate. The next most popular was clothing/accessories at 52 percent, books and other media at 35 percent and electronics at 29 percent. For the most part, gift givers are obliging. Fifty-eight percent said they were purchasing clothing, followed by gift cards for 54 percent and 39 percent for toys.

Internet shopping growing and growing and growing

Solid numbers are hard to come by, but according to the NRF, online and non-store sales are projected to reach somewhere between $162.6-$166.9 billion, an 11-14 percent increase from 2018.

Seasonal debt taken on by 20 percent of shoppers

According to LendEDU, 20 percent of consumers anticipate taking on some debt, whether that be credit card debt, personal loans or another form of debt, because of Christmas shopping — at an average of $720 per person. That’s compared to 76 percent who said no.

Thanksgiving weekend shopping still popular

One more stat from the NRF: An estimated 189.6 million consumers shopped between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, an average of almost 38 million people per day. Ninety-five percent used the weekend to buy holiday gifts or other holiday-related items, spending a per-person average of $361.90.

Most shoppers are already done, but not all

According to the National Retail Federation, 39 percent of shoppers started their holiday gift-searching before November, almost half of those in September or before. An additional three percent say they buy their gifts in the last two weeks of December.

Animals adored: 1 in 3 North Carolina pet owners spend more on pets than partners

According to Innovet Pet, a pet product company, one-third of pet owners across the Old North State will spend more on their pets than their significant others or spouses. The survey interviewed 2,500 pet owners across the state and also found that 37 percent of those polled dress their animals in Christmas-themed clothing and 29 percent say they signed their Christmas cards with their pets’ names.

Spending on flowers is tops at Christmas, not Valentine’s Day

According to the 2016 IPSOS Floral Tracking Study, 29 percent of money spent on flowers at holidays is for Christmas and Hanukkah, compared to 28 percent for Valentine’s Day and 24 percent for Mother’s Day. Surprised? I was too. Valentine’s Day still ranks top at 30 percent for the number of flower purchases.

Reporter Zachary Horner can be reached at zhorner@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @ZachHornerCNR, where he’ll tell you Merry Christmas if you follow him. It would be a great Christmas present.


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