The Grinch is surely pleased that 15 million Americans — that’s almost 6% of all U.S. consumers — who bought holiday gifts last year say they’ll buy none this year, but it leaves the other 94%, give or take, to spend in different ways, with many prioritizing family meals over presents.
Examining this is the study “New Reality Check: The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Report: The Holiday Shopping Edition,” a PYMNTS and LendingClub collaboration, we found that those who are spending are expecting it to cost more, putting deal chasing at the top of gift lists.
This survey of over 3,460 U.S. consumers uncovered interesting contrasts in consumer spending patterns, noting that “nearly half of all consumers say the holiday season increased their retail and grocery spending,” with 49% of consumers who purchased retail goods during the 2021 holidays and 46% who bought groceries for holiday events “spent more during that period than the rest of the year.” Much of that higher spend is about inflation, however, not more gifts.
Food is the big winner this year. According to the latest study, “fewer consumers plan to reduce their spending on grocery and retail in the 2022 holiday season. Just 17% of grocery shoppers expect to spend less on grocery purchases than in 2021, though 26% of retail shoppers plan to spend less on retail purchases in 2022. Consumers are most likely to spend less at restaurants this year, with 29% of respondents saying they will reduce such spending, followed by entertainment and leisure, with 27% planning to cut back.”