Valentine’s Day
April 17, 2012

Industry Statistics

2011 Black Friday sales increased 6.6 percent over the same day last year. This represents $11.40 billion in retail purchases and the biggest dollar amount ever spent during the day. Retail foot-traffic rose accordingly, increasing by 5.1 percent over Black Friday 2010. This marked the largest year-over-year gain in ShopperTrak’s National Retail Sales Estimate for Black Friday since the 8.3 percent increase we saw between 2007 and 2006.
-ShopperTrak, 2011

Overall 2011 holiday retail sales (covering the months of November and December) will rise 2.8% to $465.6 billion.
-National Retail Federation, 2011

The holiday season (November-December) accounted for 19.4% of total retail industry sales in 2010, compared to 19.9% in 2005 and 20.0% in 2000.
-National Retail Federation, 2011

Christmas remains the number-one card-sending holiday in the U.S., with approximately 1.5 billion cards expected to be purchased this year. That figure, which includes boxed and packaged cards, while down slightly from 2010, still reflects the strength of the Christmas card category and the importance of this tradition among American consumers.
-Greeting Card Association, 2011

All shopping centers surveyed said they will advertise for the 2011 holiday season using TV, print, social media, direct mail, e-blast, mobile messaging, radio, and billboards.
-International Council of Shopping Centers, 2011

In 2010, 27.0 million live Christmas trees were sold, down from 28.2 million the previous year. These trees had a 2010 retail value of $976 million, compared to $1.15 billion in 2009. Also in 2010, 8.2 million artificial trees were sold, down from 11.7 million in 20090. The value of artificial tree sales in 2010 also fell to $530 million, compared to $901 million in 2009.
-National Christmas Tree Association, 2011

There are approximately 15,000 Christmas tree growers in the U.S. and over 100,000 people are employed full or part-time in the industry.
-National Christmas Tree Association, 2011

The most popular holidays for sending greeting cards are 1) Christmas; 2) Mother’s Day; 3) Valentine’s Day; and 4) Easter.
-Greeting Card Association, 2011

Based on consumer purchases of fresh cut flowers and plants, Mother’s Day accounts for 24% of all holiday flower/plant transactions (behind only Christmas/Chanukah) and 25% of dollar volume, which ties Mother’s Day for second with Valentine’s Day. Christmas/Chanukah is also the top holiday period for spending.
-Society of American Florists, 2011

In 2010, more than 244 million turkeys were raised. More than 226 million were consumed in the United States. An estimated that 46 million (20%) of those turkeys were eaten at Thanksgiving, 22 million (10%) at Christmas and 19 million (8%) at Easter.
-National Turkey Federation, 2011

A vast majority of CMOs (78%) say they expect to see more discounts and promotions overall in the 2011 holiday season compared to last year. This is up 21 percent from 2010 when 64 percent of retailers said they expected to see more discounting.
-BDO USA, 2011

42 percent of CMOs say they are equally focusing promotions and discounts online and in stores in 2011 – a dramatic change from 2010 when 59 percent said they were focusing the majority of promotions and discounts just in stores. While free shipping remains a key differentiator for online, channel agnostic promotions will be more prominent this year.
-BDO USA, 2011

When asked what online promotional tactic will convert the most sales in the 2011 holiday season, CMOs are split between email promotions (28%), search engine marketing (26%), free shipping (23%), promotions via social media (18%. up from 10% in 2010).
-BDO USA, 2011

Similar to 2010, most CMOs (51%) expect retailers will offer the most discounts in the electronics category in 2011, followed by apparel (25%). Only 8 percent expect home goods to see the most discounts (compared to 4% in 2010 and 14% in 2009), and only 7% expect jewelry to see the most discounts (compared to 14% in 2010).
-BDO USA, 2011

There were 21,891 electronic shopping and mail-order houses in business in 2009. These businesses employed 320,721 workers in 2009.
-U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, 2011

In 2009, there were 150,205 clothing and clothing accessories stores; 8,663 department stores; 8,424 hobby, toy and game shops; 27,738 gift, novelty and souvenir shops; 21,628 sporting goods stores; 24,973 jewelry stores; and 9,390 book stores across the U.S. The figures shown are for locations with paid employees and do not include nonemployer firms (i.e. firms with no paid employees).
-U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, 2011

There were 88 establishments around the U.S. that primarily manufactured dolls and stuffed toys in 2009. California led the nation with 15 locations.
-U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, 2011

There were 579 locations that primarily produced games, toys and children’s vehicles in 2009; they employed 7,858 workers. California led the nation with 98 establishments.
-U.S. Census Bureau, County Business Patterns, 2011

The value of U.S. toy imports including stuffed toys (including dolls), puzzles and electric trains from China between January and September 2011. China was the leading country of origin for stuffed toys coming into this country, as well as for a number of other popular holiday gifts. These include roller skates ($24.6 million), sports footwear ($253.8 million) and basketballs ($38.9 million). China leads Thailand as the leading supplier of ice skates ($17.7 million versus $9.8 million), with Canada ranking third ($4.2 million).
-U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, 2011

The value of product shipments of candles in 2009 by the nation’s manufacturers totaled $1.5 billion. Many of these candles are lit during Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations.
-U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Survey of Manufacturers, 2011

The holiday season (November-December) accounted for 19.1% of total retail industry sales in 2009, 18.5% in 2008 and 19.4% in 2007.
-National Retail Federation, 2010

Research by the National Confectioners Association showed that sales of Christmas candy through mass merchandisers (excluding Walmart), convenience stores, food stores and drug stores grew 1.8% in 2009, including increases of 7.0% for non-chocolate candy and 1.2% for chocolate candy.
-National Confectioners Association, 2010

The winter holidays are the third largest “candy holiday” sales season, behind Halloween and Easter. Valentine’s Day is fourth.
-National Confectioners Association, 2009


91.0% of U.S. adults will celebrate a winter holiday in 2011 (either Christmas, Chanukah/Hanukkah or Kwanzaa). Of this group, 90.5% will celebrate Christmas, 5.4% will celebrate Hanukkah and 2.0% will celebrate Kwanzaa (more than one answer was possible).-National Retail Federation, 2011
Predicted average holiday spending amounts, by age group: 18-24, $491.70; 25-34, $718.37; 35-44, $790.18; 45-54, $720.74; 55-64, $763.01; 65+, $691.91.-National Retail Federation, 2011
Projected average holiday spending amounts, by region: Northeast, $780.19; Midwest, $680.71; South, $693.89; West, $683.15.-National Retail Federation, 2011
A 2010 study indicated that younger adults are more likely to purchase real Christmas trees.-National Christmas Tree Association, 2011
83% of Americans like the idea of exchanging holiday greeting cards.-Animoto, 2011
Up to 152 million people plan to shop Black Friday weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) in 2011, compared to 138 million people in 2010. 74 million people say they will definitely hit the stores (33% of shoppers, compared to 27% in 2010) and another 77 million (35% of shoppers) are not sure.-National Retail Federation, 2011
20 percent of adults say they plan to go shopping on Black Friday, November 25, and of those, nearly seven out of 10 (32 million Americans) plan to visit a restaurant while on their shopping trip.-National Restaurant Association, 2011
Gen Y consumers are most likely to embrace the Black Friday tradition as more than four out of 10 (42 percent) 18-24 year old respondents plan to shop that day compared to an average of 24 percent among those age 25 and older.  Nearly the same amount (37 percent) intend to partake in Cyber Monday shopping, compared with just 20 percent among those in older age groups.-Deloitte, 2011
51% of Americans said they will be purchasing toys as gifts in the 2011 holiday season (down from 53% in 2010 and 54% in 2009), while 40% will not and 9% are not sure.  Not surprisingly, 72% of those with a child in the household say they plan to purchase toys compared to 42% of those without a child in the household.-Harris Interactive, 2011
71% of those respondents earning more than $100,000 expect to spend over $500 on gifts this holiday season.-Accenture, 2011
A study by the Consumer Electronics Association concluded that the best demographic to target for consumer electronics purchases during the 2010 holiday season are households earning $75,000+ a year.-TWICE Magazine, 2010
People with online access at work who shopped from the office during the 2009 holiday season, by percentage of each age group: 18-24, 73.8%; 25-34, 67.1%; 35-44, 58.2%; 45-54, 50.7%; 55-64, 44.1%; 65+, 27.6%.-National Retail Federation, 2010

Buying Patterns

The top 10 holiday sales days in 2011 are predicted to be: 1. November 25 (Black Friday); 2. Saturday, December 17; 3. Friday, December 23; 4. Monday, December 26; 5. Thursday, December 22; 6. Saturday, November 26; 7. Sunday, December 18; 8. Saturday, December 10; 9. Monday, December 19; 10. Saturday, December 3.-ShopperTrak, 2011
More customers shopped the Sunday before Thanksgiving than the days following Black Friday. Both Black Saturday and Black Sunday showed year-over-year losses in retail sales and foot-traffic, which caused the entire Black Friday weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) to realize a 1.9 percent sales increase and 1.8 percent decline in foot-traffic when compared to the same period last year. The week leading up to Black Friday (ending Nov. 26), however, saw a 4.4 percent increase in sales, when compared to the same week in 2010. Black Sunday (Nov. 27) also saw a 1.7 percent decrease in enclosed mall foot-traffic, compared to the previous Sunday (Nov. 20).-ShopperTrak, 2011
Compared to the same day in 2010, Black Saturday sales in 2011 dropped 4 percent, and people counts declined 9.6 percent. Sales were slightly better on Black Sunday, dropping only 2 percent year-over-year, while foot-traffic dropped 8.7 percent over Black Sunday 2010.-ShopperTrak, 2011
When consumers expect to start gift shopping: Before September, 12.3%; September, 6.3%; October, 20.3%; November, 40.0%; first 2 weeks of December, 17.0%; last 2 weeks of December, 4.1%.-National Retail Federation, 2011
All shopping centers surveyed said they will offer extended operating hours during the 2011 holiday season starting on or after Black Friday.-International Council of Shopping Centers, 2011
In 2011, there are 30 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, compared to 29 in 2010 and 28 in 2009.-National Retail Federation, 2011
January is the most common month that “holiday” gift cards are redeemed.-International Council of Shopping Centers, 2011
UPS expects its peak shipping day during the 2011 holiday season to be Thursday, December 22, with delivery volume of more than 26 million packages (60% above normal daily volume); FedEx predicts its busiest shipping day will be Monday, December 12, when it expects to handle 17 million packages. The USPS expects its busiest mailing day will be Tuesday December 20, with 801 million pieces of mail processed.  The Postal Service projects it will process 16.5 billion cards, letters and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.-The Associated Press, 2011
When consumers were asked when they believe the best deals will be available for holiday shopping, 29% of the respondents said after the Thanksgiving holiday. Twenty-eight percent specifically indicated Black Friday, another 28% said the month of December and 15% said Cyber Monday (Nov. 28), 2011
41 percent of consumers plan to shop between Dec. 21 and Dec. 24 for holiday, 2011
The most affordable days to fly over the Christmas holiday are December 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24, 25 and, 2011
Approximate number of consumers who went shopping during Black Friday weekend in 2010, by day: Thanksgiving Day, 22 million; Friday, 80 million; Saturday, 70 million; Sunday, 35 million.-National Retail Federation, 2011
A survey by the National Retail Federation found that 40.0% of consumers expect to begin their 2011 holiday shopping in November.-National Retail Federation, 2011
More than half of consumers (53 percent) plan to begin shopping before Thanksgiving, but nearly three quarters (73 percent) intend to hold out until after this holiday to make the majority of their purchases.-Deloitte, 2011
68% of consumers are changing how they shop for holiday gifts in order to save money. In what ways they will change: Buy more items “on sale,” 64%; go online to find better prices, 51% (up 10% from 2010); buy more lower-priced items, 51%; use more store coupons, 48%; buy more items that qualify for “free shipping,” 46%; spend less on myself, 44%; make more lists of things to buy, 42%; buy only what my family needs, 41%; consolidate shopping trips to save gas, 38%; shop at less expensive stores, 30%.-Deloitte, 2011
26% of consumers in 2011 expect to do the majority of their holiday shopping early (before Thanksgiving), while 34% do the majority in late November, and 39% in December of later.  More specifically, 2% had already done the majority of their shopping in late September when the survey was conducted, 10% in October, 14% in early November, 12% on Black Friday, 5% on Cyber Monday, 17% in late November, 33% in December and 6% in January.-Deloitte, 2011
Retail sales during the seven days after Christmas rose year-over-year in three of the past five years, according to research firm ShopperTrak. And last year, year-over-year online spending grew by 22 percent on Dec. 26 and 56 percent on Dec. 27, according to computer giant IBM’s retail consulting arm.-ShopperTrak and IBM Retail, 2011
29% of consumers in 2011 believe they get the best deals if they shop early in the holiday season, while 28% believe they get the best deals if they shop late in the holiday season.-Deloitte, 2011
Of those consumers who plan to shop on Black Friday, 40% will start their shopping between midnight and 4 AM.-American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 2011
38% of consumers plan to shop for holiday gifts at small, independently owned retailers by participating in the second annual Small Business Saturday on November 26.-American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 2011
The majority of Black Friday consumers will divide their shopping for gifts between brick & mortar stores and the Web, with 34% planning to shop in stores exclusively.-American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 2011
42% of shoppers plan to go shopping on Black Friday (up from 31% in 2010), and 35% will surf the Web on Cyber Monday for deals (vs. 20% in 2010).-American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 2011
Pre-holiday shopping is expected to increase significantly in 2011 as most are planning to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (52% combined), up 37% over last year.-American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 2011
44 percent of consumers said that they are likely to shop on Black Friday in 2011, compared to 47 percent in 2010, and 52 percent in 2009.-Accenture, 2011
A larger proportion of shoppers will be leaving their holiday shopping until after Black Friday compared to last year (52 percent vs. 41 percent in 2010), and one third (33 percent) will leave the bulk of their purchases until December.-Accenture, 2011
Retail sales by the nation’s department stores (including leased departments) in December 2010 totaled $27.2 billion. This represented a 44 percent jump from the previous month (when retail sales, many holiday-related, registered $18.8 billion). No other month-to-month increase in department store sales last year was as large.-U.S. Census Bureau, Service Sector Statistics, 2011
U.S. retailers with sizable jumps in sales between November and December 2010 were clothing stores (33 percent); department stores (44 percent); radio, TV and other electronics stores (44 percent); sporting goods stores (58 percent); bookstores (92 percent); and jewelry stores (113 percent).-U.S. Census Bureau, Service Sector Statistics, 2011
14% of total 2010 sales for department stores (including leased departments) occur in December. For jewelry stores, the percentage was 20 percent.-U.S. Census Bureau, Service Sector Statistics, 2011
Retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses totaled $34 billion in December 2010 — the highest total for any month last year.-U.S. Census Bureau, Service Sector Statistics, 2011
U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and September 2011 were valued at $983 million. China was the leading country of origin for such items. Similarly, China was the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees shipped to the United States ($79.7 million worth) during the same period.-U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, 2011
Based on two-week sales preceding each holiday, the top beer-drinking occasions of 2009 (according to millions of cases sold): 1. July 4th, 63.5; 2. Memorial Day, 61.0; 3. Labor Day, 60.2; 4. Father’s Day, 57.7; 5. Cinco de Mayo, 54.0; 6. (tie) Thanksgiving and Christmas, 52.8; 8. Halloween, 50.9; 9. Easter, 50.7; 10. Super Bowl, 49.2.-The Nielsen Company, 2010
Among those consumers who went Christmas shopping on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) in 2009, 1 out of 3 shoppers were at the stores by 5 AM.-National Retail Federation, 2010

Decision Making

Today’s customers visit fewer stores per shopping trip, with an average 3.1 in the 2011 holiday season — down from 3.19 last year — but are also more likely to buy when they enter the store. Holiday shoppers look for sales and research purchases online beforehand.-ShopperTrak, 2011
The top reasons for shopping a particular store during Christmas (multiple answers): Sales or price discounts, 41.6%; selection of merchandise, 18.0%; quality of merchandise, 14.6%; every-day low prices, 13.0%; helpful, knowledgeable customer service, 6.0%; convenient location, 4.9%; none of these, 1.9%.-National Retail Federation, 2011
Factors that consumers say will influence where they shop for gifts in 2011 (more than one answer possible): Overall value for the price, 55% (60% in 2010); special sale price, 57% (58% in 2010); convenient location, 46% (47% in 2010); quality of products they offer, 41% (42% in 2010); free shipping offers, 40% (39% in 2010); store has simple, hassle-free return policy, 37% (36% in 2010); store carries a wide selection of products and brands, 33% (35% in 2010); advertising or circulars, 28% (30% in 2010).-The NPD Group, 2011
Percentage of adult consumers who will purchase the following holiday items: Gifts for family, 96.7%; gifts for friends, 73.5%; gifts for co-workers, 31.9%; other gifts, 43.9%; decorations, 68.4%; greeting cards and postage, 79.5%; candy and food, 91.8%; flowers, 45.9%.-National Retail Federation, 2011
43% of shoppers would be buying all, or mostly, discounted items during the 2011 holiday season, compared to 40% in 2010 and 36% in 2009. Sixty percent of those consumers looking for sale items in 2011 will seek a discount between 20-49%, while 21% will be searching for discounts of 50% or more.-Accenture, 2011
Why some consumers prefer to shop online rather than in stores during the holidays (multiple answers): 24/7 convenience, 35.1%; easier to compare prices, 33.1%; free shipping offers, 31.5%; don’t want to fight crowds, 30.8%; more convenient to shop online, 29.2%; easier to find items, 17.5%; better variety, 17.4%.-National Retail Federation, 2011
68% of the respondents feel the current economic climate will affect their overall holiday spending. Their primary reasons: An increase in prices for food, gas and other necessities, 70%; an increased acceptance of purchasing less expensive gifts, 49%; a lack of confidence in the economy, 46%; they are earning less money this year, 43%; the value of their homes and savings has declined,, 2011
Of those respondents who said they will be spending more during the holiday season, their reasons why: Better prices on gifts, 27%; they are making more money this year, 25%; they have confidence in the economy, 14%; tired of being frugal, 7%; found employment in the past year, 5%; increased credit,, 2011
When those consumers who plan to shop at the last minute were asked to select all of the reasons why, 43 percent said that they believe the best discounts can be found during this time period. Another 43 percent of consumers indicated that they are busy and unable to finish their shopping earlier, 26 percent admitted to procrastinating, 22 percent believe it is fun to do last-minute shopping, and 10 percent are waiting for a year-end work bonus to begin, 2011
27% of shoppers are turning to daily deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial for last-minute gifts.  Of those who plan to use daily deal sites, 58% indicated they are trying to save money on gifts and like the discounts available through daily deal sites; 22 percent enjoy the great holiday deals on local services in their area; 13 percent said they liked being able to share great deals with family and friends, especially during the holiday season; 4 percent prefer to give experiential gifts and believe local deal sites offer the best options; and 3 percent are intrigued by the hype around local deal, 2011
How smartphone owners planned to use their devices to make holiday purchase decisions: Research products/compare prices, 31.0%; look up retailer information (location, store hours, directions, etc.), 25.1%; redeem coupons, 17.3%; use Apps to research or purchase products, 15.6%; purchase products, 14.1%.-National Retail Federation, 2011
62.2% of consumers said the state of the U.S. economy would impact their spending plans for the holidays in some way. How they will be affected (multiple answers): Spending less overall, 82.6%; shopping for sales more often, 49.4%; using coupons more often, 38.7%; comparative shopping online more often, 32.1%; buying more practical gifts or necessities as gifts, 31.4%; using last year’s decorations, 27.0%; comparative shopping with newspapers/circulars more often, 26.9%; traveling less or not at all, 25.8%; purchasing joint gifts for children, parents or couples instead of individual presents, 14.1%; making more gifts for family and friends, 13.7%; comparative shopping using mobile phone more often, 5.7%.-National Retail Federation, 2011
75% of consumers expect to do some type of online research before buying holiday merchandise.-Deloitte, 2011
Money-saving strategies that consumers plan to utilize regarding their holiday spending (multiple answers): Shopping for clearance or sale merchandise, 58%; clipping coupons or taking advantage of promotions, 51%; shopping at factory outlets, 29%; cashing in rewards points to purchase gifts, 28%; leveraging online offers from social media sites like Facebook or Groupon, 19%; private sales (e.g., RueLaLa, Gilt Groupe), 6%.-American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 2011
More than two-thirds of Americans will set a budget for holiday gifts, and nearly half (48%) plan to stick to it.-American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 2011
On average, shoppers have nine people on their holiday gift lists in 2011. Seventy-one percent of respondents said their list had grown, while 27% are buying for fewer people, and 60% are purchasing for the same number as last year.-American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 2011
72% of U.S. consumers expect their holiday spending to be ‘careful’ or ‘controlled’ in 2011.-Accenture, 2011
The expectation of better discounts being available is the lure for 57 percent of consumers shopping late in the season, while 35 percent say they are leaving themselves more time to save.-Accenture, 2011
The best time to secure bargains are seen as the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events (37 percent) and the week leading up to Christmas (29 percent).-Accenture, 2011
According to a 2010 survey by, primary factors that influence online purchase decisions (multiple answers): Best price, 95%; free shipping, 90%; online coupon for store, 78%; trusted seller status, 75%; discount coupons, 69%; no tax, 61%; best return policy, 55%; customer loyalty/rewards program, 35%.-The Center for Media Research, 2010
Based on a 2010 survey by the National Retail Federation, the top reasons for shopping online for holiday gifts: 1. 24-hour convenience; 2. Easier to compare prices; 3. Free shipping offers; 4. Don’t want to fight the crowds in the mall/traditional stores; 5. More convenient to shop online; 6. Easier to find items online than in stores; 7. Better variety online; 8. Don’t have to pay sales tax; 9. Want the gifts to be shipped directly to the recipient; 10. Easier to compare products online.-National Retail Federation, 2010

Product Preferences

The most-requested gifts for the 2011 holiday season (multiple answers): Gift cards/gift certificates, 57.7%; clothing or clothing accessories, 50.0%; books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games, 44.4% consumer electronics or computer-related accessories, 35.4%; jewelry or precious metal accessories, 22.8%; home decor or home-related furnishings, 20.0%; personal care or beauty items, 19.3%; sporting goods or leisure items, 16.8%; other, 6.9%.-National Retail Federation, 2011
Toys that are expected to be the top choices of children for the 2011 holiday season (in alphabetical order): Air Hogs® Hyper Actives™ (Spin Master); Air Swimmers® eXtreme (Animal Planet); Lalaloopsy™ Silly Hair™ dolls (MGA Entertainment); LeapPad Explorer™ (LeapFrog); Monster High™ Fearleading 3-Pack (Mattel); Moshi Monsters™ Moshling 3-Pack Mini-Figures (Spin Master); My Keepon® (Wow! Stuff); NERF Vortex™ Vigilon™ (Hasbro); Ninjago Lightning Dragon Battle (LEGO® Systems, Inc.); Poppin’ Park™ Elefun® Busy Ball Popper® (Playskool); Power Wheels® Dune Racer (Fisher-Price); Radica® Fijit Friends™ (Mattel); Sesame Street® Let’s Rock! Elmo™ (Hasbro); Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (Activision); The Trash Pack™ Garbage Truck (Moose Toys).-Toys “R” Us, 2011
The top 10 items consumers planned to buy as holiday gifts in 2011: Clothing, 43% (vs. 42% in 2010); toys, 31% (32% in 2010); books, 20% (23% in 2010); movies/DVDs, 19% (24% in 2010); accessories (bags, small personal accessories, watches), 16% (no change); electronics (TVs, home theater systems/DVD players/recorders, home audio products, satellite radio, GPS systems, cell phones, computers, cameras, MP3 players), 15% (16% in 2010); food, 14% (15% in 2010); fragrances, 14% (13% in 2010); music, 13% (14% in 2010); video gaming systems or video games, 13% (15% in 2010).-The NPD Group, 2011
Categories expected to be purchased most often by consumers as Christmas gifts (multiple answers): Clothing, 66%; gift cards, 52%; books, CDs, DVDs or video games, 46%; toys, 43%; hobby-related items, 31%; shoes, 25%; food or candy, 23%; jewelry, 21%; sporting goods, 20%; cosmetics, spa packages or beauty-related gifts,, 2011
For those planning to send holiday greetings, 69% plan to send a holiday card using the U.S. mail, 17% plan to send e-greetings, and 11% are planning to send a family newsletter.-Animoto, 2011
The most-requested consumer electronics gift products for the 2011 Christmas season will be: 1) Tablets; 2) Notebooks; 3) TVs; 4) (tie) e-Readers and gaming consoles; 6) (tie) MP3 players and DVD/BD discs; 8) (tie) Smartphones, digital cameras and desktops.-Consumer Electronics Association, 2011
Gift categories listed most often as those the respondents plan to spend more money on this year: 1. Toys & Games (16.6%); 2. Electronics & Software (16%); 3. Vacation & Travel (15.8%); 4. Gift Cards (14.8%); 5. Books, Music, DVDs (10.6%).-The Conference Board, 2011
51% of pet owners said they would buy holiday gifts for their pets in 2011.  The number stood at 53% in 2010, 52 percent in 2009 and 43 percent in 2008.-AP-Petside, 2011
Of those consumers who went holiday gift shopping on the weekend after Thanksgiving in 2010, percentage who bought the following items: Clothing or accessories, 52.7%; books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games, 42.1%; toys, 33.6%; home decorated-related furnishings, 20.2%; jewelry, 14.3%.-National Retail Federation, 2011
The top gift categories for the 2011 holiday season (multiple answers): Clothing, 48%; gift cards/gift certificates, 45% (-11% from 2010); “technology” (includes home/personal/car electronics, computers, game consoles and video games), 38%; books, 35%; CDs, DVDs for movies or music, 31%; games, toys, dolls, etc., 29%; food/liquor, 27%; money (cash or check), 25% (-7% from 2010); games — computer/video only, 20%; cosmetics/fragrances/health & beauty aids, 18%; jewelry, 16%.-Deloitte, 2011
Types of toys consumers planned to purchase during the 2011 holidays (multiple answers): Children’s books, 45%; games for consoles, 33%; arts & crafts, 29%; board games, 25%; dolls, 25%; building blocks and bricks, 23%; handheld electronic games, 20%; sports equipment, 19%; game consoles, 7%; something else, 25%; not sure, 20%.-Harris Interactive, 2011
According to a survey by the Consumer Electronics Association, the top five electronic hardware products that adult consumers plan to give as Christmas gifts in 2010: 1. Video game consoles; 2. MP3 players; 3. Notebook/laptops; 4. DVD or Blu-ray players; 5. Smartphones. The top five CE gifts adult consumers would like to receive: 1. Notebook/laptop; 2. iPad; 3. E-reader; 4. iPod/iTouch; 5. Video game systems.-TWICE Magazine, 2010
A survey by The Nielsen Company predicted that categories such as gift cards, tech products, toys, apparel, books, video games and jewelry would see an uptick in spending during the 2010 holiday season.-The Nielsen Company, 2010
Based on a survey by the Consumer Electronics Association, the top five electronic gifts that teens would like to receive as holiday gifts in 2010: 1. Portable MP3 player; 2. iPod/iTouch; 3. Video game console; 4. Notebook/laptop; 5. Cell phone.-TWICE Magazine, 2010
Historically, the top-selling types of live Christmas trees are balsam fir, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, noble fir, Scotch pine, Virginia pine and white pine.-National Christmas Tree Association, 2010
The most popular gifts cards purchased during the 2009 holiday season, by category: Restaurant, 31.0%; department store, 29.3%; bookstore, 14.7%; electronics store, 13.6%; discount store, 12.2%; coffee shop, 12.0%; entertainment (movies, etc.), 10.2%; grocery store/gasoline, 9.2%; home improvement store, 8.2%; clothing store, 7.5%..-National Retail Federation, 2010
Combined sales for November and December typically account for 46% of revenue in the Snowsports industry and 26% of sales in the Outdoor industry.-Leisure Trends Group, 2010
The winter holidays represent the biggest boxed chocolate selling season.-National Confectioners Association, 2009
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Consumer Spending

The average consumer is predicted to spend $704.18 during the 2011 holiday season on gifts for family, friends and co-workers, decorations, greeting cards, food and flowers, down slightly from $718.98 in 2010.-National Retail Federation, 2011
Consumers indicated they planned to spend an average of $403.26 on presents for family members, $68.23 on gifts for friends, $21.06 on presents for co-workers, and $23.39 on gifts for other people including babysitters, teachers and clergy.-National Retail Federation, 2011
Consumers expected to spend an average of $46.73 on decorations, $26.52 on greeting cards and postage, $96.75 on candy and food, and $18.23 on flowers.-National Retail Federation, 2011
Holiday payment methods consumers used most often in 2010: Debit/check card, 43%; credit card, 28%; cash, 27%; check, 3%.-National Retail Federation, 2011
The average cost of a live Christmas tree in 2010 was $36.12 (down from $40.92 in 2009), while the average cost of an artificial tree was $64.61 (down from $77.01 the previous year).-National Christmas Tree Association, 2011
59.9% of consumers indicated they planned to take advantage of Christmas sales to make non-gift purchases for themselves or their families, spending an average of $130.43 on these purchases (up from $112.20 in 2010).-National Retail Federation, 2011
52% of consumers plan to spend $500 or more on holiday gifts, while 36% plan to spend less than $500, and 12% indicated that they don’t have a, 2011
The average holiday spending amount for men is predicted to be more than the average for women in 2011 — $721.25 for men and $687.94 for women.-National Retail Federation, 2011
Consumer spending intentions in 2011: Plan to spend more, 9% (vs. 9% in 2010); plan to spend about the same, 64% (vs. 61% in 2010); plan to spend less, 27% (vs. 30% in 2010).-The NPD Group, 2011
45% of the respondents indicated they planned to spend less money during the 2011 winter holiday shopping season than last year, while 49% said they would be spending the same amount, and only 7% expected to spend, 2011
Overall spending on gift cards averaged $145.61 per consumer in 2010, compared to $139.91 in 2009 and $147.33 in 2008.-National Retail Federation, 2011
What percentage of holiday gift purchases consumers expect to be discounted or on sale: 0%, 5.7%; 1-24%, 24.6%; 25-49%, 29.0%; 50-74%, 26.3%; 74-100%, 14.4%.-The Conference Board, 2011
Compared with last year, domestic airfare is expected to be down 1.4 percent overall, with tickets averaging $302, as opposed to $306 last holiday. Holiday hotel costs are staying virtually flat for 3- and 4-star hotels, but 5-star hotels are down 8% from last year.-Bing Travel, 2011
How much consumers expect to spend on the following holiday categories in 2011 (with change from 2010 in parentheses): Gifts, $395 (-15.2%); socializing away from home, $250 (+2.5%); entertaining at home, $153 (-21.1%); non-gift clothing for family or yourself, $135 (-7.5%); home/holiday furnishings, $88 (-20.0%); any other holiday-related spending, $81 (N/A).-Deloitte, 2011
Consumers indicated they would be buying fewer gifts during the 2011 holiday season — an average of 14.7 gifts, compared to 16.8 in 2010 and 18.2 in 2009.-Deloitte, 2011
17% of shoppers would be using layaway to pay for their Christmas gifts, a considerably higher percentage than in previous years.  11.2% of those surveyed would use Walmart’s layaway program.-America’s Research Group, 2011
Of those consumers who plan to shop on Black Friday, the average amount spent will be $504.-American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 2011
88% of shoppers intend to spend the same or less in 2011 than last year.-Accenture, 2011
The multichannel holiday shopping behavior of U.S. Internet users: Research online, then buy in-store, 51%; research online, then buy online, 42%; research online, visit store, then buy online, 32%; visit store, then buy online, 16%.-Google, 2010
A study by Deloitte found that 12% of consumers will turn to social networks for information such as gift ideas and coupons, discounts and sale information during the 2010 holiday season. Shoppers in the 18-29 age bracket will be most likely to do so.-Deloitte, 2010

Sales Channels

Percent of overall sales in the following retail categories that were attributed to holiday purchases in 2010: Jewelry stores, 28.9%; department stores, 24.3%; discount stores, 23.3%; sporting goods, book, hobby & music stores, 23.0%; clothing & accessory stores, 22.7%; electronics & appliance stores, 22.6%; warehouse clubs & superstores, 19.5%; furniture & home furnishings stores, 18.9%; health & personal care stores, 18.0%; food & beverage stores, 17.7%; building equipment & supplies stores, 16.2%.-National Retail Federation, 2011
According to a survey of consumers, the most popular venues for holiday merchandise shopping (more than one answer possible): Discount stores, 66.1%; traditional department stores, 56.9%; grocery stores/supermarkets, 48.8%; online, 46.7%; clothing or accessories store, 35.2%; electronics store, 31.8%; drug stores, 21.1%; crafts or fabrics stores, 17.5%; other specialty stores, 16.9%; catalog, 14.2%; thrift stores/resale shops, 11.6%; other, 4.1%.-National Retail Federation, 2011
The top 10 venues that consumers plan to shop during the 2011 holiday season (multiple answers): Discount stores (i.e., Walmart, Target), 51% (vs. 54% in 2010); online, 38% (vs. 35% in 2010); national chains (i.e., Sears, JC Penney, Kohl’s), 29% (same as 2010); department stores (i.e., Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Belk), 24% (vs. 22% in 2010); toy stores, 20% (same as 2010); warehouse clubs, 18% (vs. 17% in 2010); electronics stores (i.e., Best Buy, Fry’s), 17% (vs. 19% in 2010); outlet stores, 17% (vs. 16% in 2010); clothing specialty stores (i.e., Gap, Victoria’s Secret), 15% (same as 2010); catalogs/mail order, 14% (12% in 2010).-The NPD Group, 2011
46.7% of consumers plan to make at least one holiday purchase online this year, compared to 43.9% in 2010 and 42.4% in 2009.-National Retail Federation, 2011
Where consumers purchased their live Christmas trees in 2010: Choose & harvest tree farm, 33%; chain store (Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc.), 21%; retail lot, 13%; nursery/garden center, 12%; non-profit group (Boy Scouts, churches, etc.), 9%; other, 12%.-National Christmas Tree Association, 2011
84.2% of retailers will send an email to their customers about Black Friday deals in 2011, up from 80.0 percent last year. 73.7% will use their Facebook page to reach out to shoppers, up from 57.1 percent in 2010. Additionally, many retailers will utilize their website’s home page (50.0%) and Twitter (57.9%) to announce and promote Black Friday deals.-National Retail Federation, 2011
Where consumers were most likely to shop during the 2011 holiday season (multiple answers): Discount/value department stores, 48% (-10% from 2010); Internet (including auction sites), 48% (+13% from 2010); traditional department stores, 23%; electronics/office supply/computer stores, 22%; outlet stores/centers, 20%; toy stores, 19%; off-price stores, 18%; warehouse membership clubs, 17%; restaurants/fast food establishments, 14%; low-price dollar stores, 14%; home improvement stores, 12%; sporting goods stores, 12%.-Deloitte, 2011
Where consumers planned to shop most often for toys: Large discount store (such as Walmart of Kmart), 56%; online, 27%; national toy store retail chain, 10%; local, privately-owned specialty toy store, 4%; other location, 4%.-Harris Interactive, 2011
Where consumers will shop most often for toys in the 2011 holiday season: 1. Walmart (21.5%); 2. Toys ‘R Us (16%); 3. Target (7.6%); 4. (3.4%); 5. Kmart (1.2%).-BIGresearch, 2011
According to a survey of 100 chief marketing officers at leading U.S. retailers, just 27 percent expect to see an increase in Black Friday sales in 2011, down from 38 percent in 2010. Similarly, only 24 percent project an increase in Cyber Monday sales, with the vast majority (74%) expecting flat sales. Overall, CMOs project a 1.6 percent increase in Black Friday sales (down from 3.8% in 2010) and 2.5 percent increase in Cyber Monday sales.-BDO USA, 2011
Of those gift cards purchased during the 2009 holiday shopping season, 67% were purchased at the store where they were eventually used.-National Retail Federation, 2010
A 2010 study by Unity Marketing predicted that retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s would be popular destinations for consumers looking to purchase holiday decorations.-Unity Marketing, 2010
The top Christmas tree-producing states in 2007 were Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.-USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2007


All centers surveyed will engage in a philanthropic campaign to raise money or merchandise for the holidays this year. Campaigns include; entertainment concerts, toy drives, tree lightings, giving trees, benefit walks, food drives, and clothing drives.-International Council of Shopping Centers, 2011
98% of centers surveyed said they will offer special amenities for holiday shoppers this year such as gift wrap stations, valet parking, refreshments, and promotional gift cards with purchase.-International Council of Shopping Centers, 2011
Black Friday shoppers are willing to compromise essential human needs like sleep (68 percent), breakfast (48 percent) and even showering (36 percent) to join the early morning masses in an attempt to get those rock-bottom deals.-Diamond Foods, 2011
Place names associated with the holiday season include North Pole, Alaska (population 2,117); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,481); Santa Claus, Ga. (165); Noel, Mo. (1,832); and — if you know about reindeer — the village of Rudolph, Wis. (439) and Dasher, Ga. (912). There is Snowflake, Ariz. (5,590) and a dozen places named Holly, including Holly Springs, Miss. (7,699) and Mount Holly, N.C. (13,656).-U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census, 2011

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