Consumer Spend Will Likely Reach Highest Level Since Great Recession;
Digital Sales & Mobile Shopping to Rise Significantly
Gen Z, the Largest U.S. Demographic, Prefer Tangible Gifts Over Experiences
NEW YORK, October 4, 2016 – Holiday spending is expected to reach its highest point since the Great Recession, increasing 10 percent compared with the 2015 holiday season, according to PwC’s 2016 Holiday Outlook. However, this isn’t all good news for store-based retailers, as consumers stated they increasingly prefer to receive gifts of travel and entertainment rather than traditional gifts. The silver lining for retailers, though, is digital sales are expected to increase 25 percent. And consumers are moving towards smaller devices to carry out their online shopping, with mobile shopping up almost 25 percent. Additionally, Gen Z, who now represent the largest U.S. demographic, are heavy mobile users and they’re looking to buy tangible gifts more than experiences.
“The great news for all retailers is consumers are much more optimistic this holiday season,” said Steven Barr, PwC’s U.S. retail & consumer leader. “They are expected to spend 10 percent more on gifts, travel and entertainment. But it’s not all good news for store-based retailers because shoppers are expected to increase their digital shopping by 25 percent. They have also indicated they plan to shop at fewer physical stores as they concentrate their digital shopping to fewer web sites. The clear winners will likely be the major dot com destinations, including select store and leading brand web sites. The challenge for store-based retailers will likely be to leverage their distinctive advantages to stay relevant. Small, independent retailers and local artisans are expected to compete for consumers by offering personal service as well as unique and hand-made gifts. And, the larger format retailers are expected to provide the services and value that matter most to shoppers – including knowledgeable store associates, speedy check-out options, well stocked stores and great prices."
PwC outlines the big trends that are expected to drive the 2016 holiday shopping season:
For more information and to download an electronic copy of PwC’s 2016 Holiday Outlook, visit www.pwc.com/holidayoutlook16. And for fresh insights throughout the holiday season, be sure to follow PwC’s U.S. retail & consumer leader, Steven Barr, on Twitter at @Steven_J_Barr – and also follow the hashtag #holidayshopping.
PwC’s 2016 Holiday Outlook analyzes consumer and retailer reported data – and overlays the findings with additional PwC research and analysis. PwC’s national survey was conducted from July to September 2016, which polled 2,100-plus consumers, as well as 200 retailers.
For more information on PwC’s Retail and Consumer practice, visit http://www.pwc.com/us/en/retail-consumer/index.jhtml.
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