Shoppers plan to cut back on their holiday spending this year, but their end-of-year budgets for themselves and their families are headed in the opposite direction.
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, released today, consumers plan to spend an average of $704.18 on holiday gifts and seasonal merchandise, down 2.1 percent from $718.98 last year.
However, those same shoppers expect to spend about $130.43 on non-gift merchandise available on sale or at discounts for themselves and their families, 16.2 percent more than last year’s level of $112.20. Just under three in five surveyed — 59.9 percent of respondents — said they plan to make these non-gift purchases, up from 57.1 percent in 2010 and 52.9 percent in 2009.
Asked to identify the single biggest influence on where they shop, 41.6 percent indicated “sale or price discounts,” down from 41.8 percent in 2010. The second and third most popular choices were “selection of merchandise” and “quality of merchandise,” which pulled in 18 percent and 14.6 percent of respondents, respectively.
The results didn’t alter NRF’s earlier forecast, issued on Oct. 6, for retail sales growth of 2.8 percent, to $465.6 billion, during the months of November and December.
“In 2009, it was all about personal, practical gifts, and last year consumers wanted to treat their loved ones to something special,” said Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director at BIGresearch, which conducted the survey. “This year, it’s a little bit of both. Limited budgets and a desire to make the most out of gift-giving will drive consumers to shop at a variety of retailers while also thinking outside the box for great gift ideas.”
BIGresearch polled nearly 8,600 consumers between Oct. 4 and 11.
Apparel and accessories remained the most desired gift, with exactly half indicating it was on their personal wish list, up from 48.2 percent a year ago. Books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games were second (44.4 percent from 47.3 percent), followed by consumer electronics or computer-related accessories (35.4 percent from 33.8 percent). Jewelry or precious metal accessories were the sixth most popular category, included on 22.8 percent of lists versus 23 percent in 2010.
Discounters remained the most popular destination for holiday shoppers, checked off by 66.1 percent of respondents versus 65.1 percent last year, but department stores closed the gap in channel popularity, garnering a 56.9 percent positive response against 54.5 percent last year. Clothing or accessories stores rose to 35.2 percent, up from 33.6 percent. Online purchases are planned by 46.7 percent of shoppers, up from 43.9 percent in 2010, and catalogue buys by 14.2 percent, down from 15.1 percent. On average, respondents plan to do 36 percent of their holiday shopping online, up from 32.7 percent.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast