NRF Delivers Happy Holiday Spending News

The holiday sales forecast for 2005 is sunny and bright, according to the latest National Retail Federation survey.
The NRF 2005 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Action Survey showed that the average consumer plans to spend $738.11 this holiday season, up 5.1 percent from the previous year. Of that total, $87.75 will be allocated for candy and food spending. Consumers will spend an additional $86.62 on themselves.
The survey results are in line with NRF’s holiday sales forecast, announced earlier this fall, which predicts that total holiday retail sales will increase 5.0 percent over last year to $435.3 billion.
“Just as retailers plan ahead for holiday sales and promotions, consumers plan ahead and budget for the holidays,” says Tracy Mullin, president and CEO of the NRF. “With extra money tucked away to spend on what’s important, shoppers will be hitting the stores and spending on their loved ones, and on themselves.”
The NRF survey found that consumers definitely will be looking for deals. More than one-third of consumers (37.9%) said that sales or price discounts are the most important factor in their decision to purchase from a particular store. Selection is also important, cited as a top factor by nearly a quarter (23.1%) of consumers. Other consumers say they will choose where to shop based on quality of merchandise (11.0%) or location (6.5%).
When They Start Holiday Shopping
15.3% — Before September
6.3% — September
18.5% — October
37.4% — November
22.5% — December
Source: National Retail Federation Survey