- This year’s holiday season will be significantly different from 2019, with millions of Americans staying home amid ongoing coronavirus concerns across the country.
- Analysts are predicting a surge in so-called “guilt gifting”: Spending more than usual to make up for a lack of physically being together.
- 40% of people said they were buying more gifts than usual this year, according to a new survey from The NPD Group.
- “Splurges on both ‘guilt-gifting’ and self-gifting will be significant components of the consumer’s retail therapy during Holiday 2020,” NPD Group chief industry advisor for retail Marshal Cohen said.
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As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the United States, fewer Americans will travel to visit loved ones during the upcoming holiday season.
And that lack of travel, paired with the ongoing effects of the pandemic on daily life, are spurring a surge in “guilt gifting” this year: 40% of respondents to a new survey from The NPD Group said they would buy more gifts this year than in previous years.
“Splurges on both ‘guilt-gifting’ and self-gifting will be significant components of the consumer’s retail therapy during Holiday 2020,” NPD Group chief industry advisor for retail Marshal Cohen said.
In short: The inability to see relatives is pushing people to splurge more than usual on gifts, and that’s particularly true for gifts that can be easily gifted from afar.
Meal plan subscriptions are up â€” beating out streaming service subscriptions for subscription-based gifts. Gift card interest has increased dramatically, with 53% of survey respondents affirming plans to give a gift card this year.
Product categories that will see greater interest this holiday will include “items that are useful to the consumer’s new way of life,” according to Cohen. That includes everything from robot vacuums to computer monitors.
Digital storefronts are expected to have an especially big year, with fewer shoppers than ever going into physical retail stores amid the ongoing pandemic, and most survey respondents cited free shipping as their primary concern for choosing where to buy gifts this holiday season.
“This season’s gift-giving will be reflective of the time in which we are living,” Cohen said.
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