Are Children Choosing Apparel Over Games This Holiday?

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Are Children Choosing Apparel Over Games This Holiday?

Sales and coupons are more influential than any other tactic in motivating consumers to shop this holiday season, according to a survey conducted by HRC Retail Advisory (HRC), the strategheic retail advisory firm. The survey also found that gift cards remain an extremely popular item, while apparel will surprisingly top many gift lists for both family and friends this year.

"There are limited doorbusters to drive consumers to the store this holiday season," said Farla Efros, President of HRC Retail Advisory. "As we've seen over the weekend, gift cards and free shipping allow this new consumer to shop however and wherever they want. Importantly, our survey found several key attitudes and behaviors for holiday that were consistent throughout the generations. Recognizing and responding to these trends, while catering to a younger group of shoppers who are gaining more and more influence within their household will be essential to a retailer's success this holiday season and a necessary step for them to remain competitive going forward."

To better understand the growing influence of Millennial and Generation Z consumers and the implications for retailers, HRC recently surveyed 3,100 participants in the U.S. and Canada on their attitudes, behaviors and influences driving holiday gifts and shopping.

Significant findings of the survey include:

Sales and coupons driving store traffic
Sometimes it still comes down to price. Despite more modern approaches, a significant 89 percent of respondents said that deep discounts (including coupons) are the key determinant of what stores they will visit for holiday shopping this year. Consumers are also likely to enter a store based on store window displays, according to 87 percent of all consumers surveyed. Additionally, 79 percent of consumers surveyed said they would be influenced on what stores to visit based on a retailer's website.

Children choosing apparel over games for holiday 2016
Surprisingly, when children were asked how they wanted a loved one to spend $500 for their gifts, apparel won out over all other categories, including games. In fact, the apparel category is headed for a big win this holiday, as respondents plan to allocate more than 30 percent of their budget on apparel and footwear purchases for family and friends this year. Millennial and Generation-X parents are planning to spend 40 percent of an assumed $500 holiday budget for their children on clothing and shoes, versus a small 16 percent on gaming consoles and games.

Increased popularity of gift cards
An overwhelming percentage of study respondents will include gift cards in their holiday shopping this year. Indeed, 83 percent of Millennial parents plan to include gift cards in their holiday purchases, and 32 percent of respondents who intend to buy gift cards indicated that gift cards will comprise at least half of their holiday budget. 62 percent of all study respondents with a preference preferred to receive a gift card rather than an actual gift. And this was consistent across all generations studied, which indicates that people would like to select their own gifts, rather than receiving a gift that may be wrong for them.

Income an important indicator for gift card giving
The intent to purchase gift cards grows as income levels grow. 83 percent of Millennial parents earning $50K to $75K intend to include gift cards in their holiday shopping plans. Among Millennials that have children and earn over $150K per year, 96 percent plan to include gift cards in their holiday shopping. However, while inclination to purchase gift cards tends to be stronger among higher earners, these shoppers do not necessarily intend to spend a greater percentage of their holiday budget on gift cards.