Gallup poll: Holiday spending expectations are puny for 2013
The latest poll from Gallup suggests that retailers may not get the year-end revenue boost they were anticipating. Americans say they expect to spend an average of $704 this year, an 8.6% decline over last year’s planned spending of $770.
The disparity is even more marked when contrasting October data versus November’s: Just last month, respondents said they were planning on spending $786. This marks the first year shoppers tightened their belts since 2008.
Gallup trend modeling suggests that the new data points to an overall holiday spending increase of 1.7% to 2.4% over 2012.
If all goes as planned according to consumer expectations, only 15% will spend more than they did last year. The majority (57%) plan on spending the same amount, and 26% plan to spend less. However, the 11-point lead over those planning to spend more is the narrowest its been since the pre-recession years. The resulting difference alone suggests an uptick of 5%, says Gallup.
SHOS gives back to first responders
As part of its "Salute to Local Heroes" charity campaign, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores has teamed up with the National Volunteer Fire Council to help raise funds for fire departments across the country.
"Increasing budget cuts in fire departments nationwide are making it extremely difficult for firefighters to properly do their job, especially since seven in 10 firefighters are volunteers," said Heather Schafer, executive director of the National Volunteer Fire Council. "Campaigns like ‘Salute to Local Heroes’ are critical for volunteer firehouses to have the necessary resources to perform their jobs safely and effectively while protecting their local communities."
The effort will raise funds for one local fire department per Sears Hometown store, specifically to bolster training efforts, equipment needs, medical treatment, building maintenance and family assistance for first responders.
Customers and employees will be able to make donations at the register between Nov. 23 and Dec. 31, 100% of which will go to the local fire station.
Craftsman has also signed on to be part of the effort: $2 from each Craftsman Bottle Cap Wrench will automatically go toward the donation.
NPD makes holiday gift predictions for home
Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD Group released its holiday gift predictions for 2013, with some classics mixed with some innovations.
“Some items on this year’s home holiday shopping lists deliver warmth, and others make it cold; some items are functional, and some are about the fun factor,” said Debra Mednick, executive director and home industry analyst. “Either way, the hottest home categories for the 2013 holiday season are designed to conveniently deliver comfort, improve health, or bestow simple affordable pleasures.”
The research company pointed to the following leading items:
• Coffeemakers: All forms, from traditional drip coffee and espresso makers, to single-serve pod machines, are helping to perk up consumers this holiday season.
• Food Processing & Blending Solutions: This year, there is a focus on multifunctional blender/mixer/chopper systems and powerful countertop blenders.
• Juice Extractors: The current juicing trend and related health benefits will continue to fuel these sales.
• Soda Makers: This is the latest addition to today’s home, bringing customization, family fun and even environmentally friendly benefits — now with more product options for consumers to choose from than ever before.
• Slow Cookers: The convenience, versatility and comfort food delivered by these products continues to be popular with consumers.
• Popcorn Makers: It’s a healthy snack, fun for the family and a perfect fit with increased leisure time at home.
• Frozen Treat Makers: These products delight the whole family with ice cream and frozen yogurt made their way.
• Cast Iron Cookware: With and without enamel coating, this is a classic staple for indoor and outdoor kitchens, appealing to men and women through the benefit of healthy cooking and the convenience of easy cleanup.
• Wine Glass Sets: From the basics to finer options, the selections for connoisseurs and casual wine drinkers are more specialized than ever.
• Throws: The holiday season is the perfect time to snuggle up and add a little warmth, while keeping heating costs down.