Industry NewsThis Holiday Season, Consumers Plan to Spend Big on Experiences

This Holiday Season, Consumers Plan to Spend Big on Experiences

For the 34th year, Deloitte commissioned an independent research company to conduct a national survey of 4,410 consumers to better understand spending for the upcoming holiday season. The results of Deloitte’s 2019 Annual Holiday Retail Survey showed that most (78 percent) expect to spend the same or more than last year’s holiday season, despite their less optimistic outlook for the economy in 2020. Forty-four percent expect the economy to weaken next year—up from 27 percent compared to last year’s survey.

Shoppers this holiday season are expected to spend $1,496 per household, according to the survey. High spenders—the 20 percent of households planning to shell out more than $2,100—are expected to account for a majority (60 percent) of this year’s total holiday spend.  

The bulk of all shoppers’ holiday spending ($596) will go to experiences and celebrations—including entertaining at home, socializing away from home, travel, and restaurants. Social activities are expected to account for more than a quarter of household holiday spending at around $400 per household. Approximately two-thirds of consumers (66 percent) will allocate spending on experiences. More than half (59 percent) plan to dine out this holiday season. The big-spending households are expected to account for 71 percent of the total socializing and travel dollars.

Consumers of all age groups are likely to rely more on Cyber Monday than Black Friday this year. Those surveyed expect to spend 59 percent of their holiday budget online, with promotions influencing 81 percent of consumers this holiday season.

Rod Sides, vice chairman and U.S. leader of retail, wholesale, and distribution for Deloitte, commented that more people are using their phones to research products, discounts, and ultimately make purchases this year. “In fact, 70 percent of smartphone users said they will use their phone to make a purchase this holiday season,” Sides added.