Consumers plan to spend as much this year on holiday shopping as last winter, according to recent findings from the Harris Poll. About 51 percent of U.S. shoppers plan to purchase toys as gifts, on par with last year's 50 percent. And of those shoppers with kids under the age of 18, 82 percent are planning on buying toys, twice as many as those without kids, 41 percent.
Just 18 percent of shoppers who will purchase toys intend to spend more than they did last year and the number has steadily decreased over the past three years—down from 20 percent in 2013 and 23 percent in 2012. And 48 percent of those purchasing toys will spend the same amount on toys as last year, 31 percent plan to spend less.
Discount stores are the popular supplier for toys, as 45 percent of shoppers plan to buy at these locations. While discount stores are dropping slightly in popularity, down from 47 percent in 2013, online shopping is growing, grabbing 37 percent of the market share, up from 33 percent in 2013.
National toy store retail chains and privately owned specialty stores will be the least popular shopping destinations, capturing just 11 percent and 4 percent of consumers.
Although a popular gift item, toys still rank below clothing and books in popularity among U.S. consumers. According to the National Retail Federation's Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, almost 70 percent of consumers will buy clothing and accessories this holiday season, 46.3 percent will buy books, CDs, DVDs and video games, while 42 percent will buy toys.
Gift cards are also an ever-popular holiday buy, as 62 percent of shoppers said they would like to receive a gift card this holiday season, making it the most requested gift item for the eighth year in a row. Shoppers are expected to spend $31.74 billion on gift cards this year, according to an October National Retail Federation survey.
-See this Harris Poll press release
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