FTI Consulting Survey: Holiday Spending Plans, Economic Outlooks Split Across Income Levels
FTI Consulting’s 2021 Holiday Retail Report provides insight into the mindset of holiday shoppers this year, from changing preferences and shopping habits to economic trends as the
Only 18% of consumers surveyed said they plan to spend slightly more than in 2020, and just 12% said they plan to spend significantly more, while 32% plan to spend the same. Thirty-eight percent said they plan to spend less than last year, the survey found.
Responses differed notably among income groups. Higher-income respondents, who account for a disproportionately large share of total spending, were more upbeat on the season, with 35% saying they intend to spend more during the 2021 holiday season compared to 24% of lower-income respondents.
“Inflation and supply-chain concerns are top of mind for consumers this year, which leads to a wide range of spending behaviors,” said
Other key findings from the survey include:
- 51% of respondents said they have experienced rising inflation recently, which has impacted — and will continue to impact — their shopping decisions or behaviors.
- Nearly 40% of respondents said they would reduce gift purchases if supply-chain issues have a detrimental effect on product availability or prices this holiday season.
- 44% of respondents are shopping online as much as they did during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 22% are trying to shop online as much as possible.
- Only 13% said they had reverted to pre-COVID-19 online shopping habits.
- In-store shopping made a comeback in 2021, with 40% of respondents saying they shopped in stores as much as they did pre-pandemic.
The Retail & Consumer Products practice at
Respondents have different outlooks for the upcoming year, which are especially noteworthy between income groups. Overall, 35% of respondents believe COVID-19 will be mostly or entirely passed in 2022 and it will be a strong year for the economy, while 34% believe COVID impacts will linger and will hold back the economy from full strength. Another 31% either have negative expectations for 2022 or believe COVID-19 has permanently changed the workings of the economy and increased divides between winners and losers.
“No one truly knows what the ultimate impact of recent headwinds will be on product availability or consumer demand as we close out this year and look ahead,” said J.D. Wichser, Leader of the Retail & Consumer Products practice at
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Source: FTI Consulting, Inc.