Shoppers spending more this holiday season

Gift cards top shopping list

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TAMPA, FLA. – November is the busiest time of year for holiday shopping, according to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey. The majority (76%) of Floridians will begin their holiday shopping before the start of December. The top shopping  days for consumers this month are Cyber Monday (49%), Black Friday (48%), Thanksgiving Day (19%), and Small Business Saturday (19%).  

Holiday Spending Expected to Increase

Holiday spending is expected to increase thanks in part to increased disposable income, low gas prices, and a falling unemployment rate. The National Retail Association expects $655.8 billion in sales nationwide this holiday season. The average Florida shopper plans to spend $870 on gifts, an increase of 11% over last year.

“According to our research, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are expected to be the biggest shopping days,” said Belinda Dabrowski, managing director, AAA Partnership Development, The Auto Club Group. “Gift cards and apparel will be at the top of most lists this holiday season.”

Top Gift Purchases

  • Apparel (68%)
  • Gift cards (60%)
  • Toys (39%)
  • Jewelry (38%)
  • Books (37%)

While apparel remains the most purchased gift for Floridians, recipients want to see gift cards under the tree. More than one quarter of consumers (28%) cited gift cards as the number one gift they want to receive during the holidays. The top selling gift cards are Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowes. 

More Consumers Will Shop Online 

Online shopping will be the preferred method for consumers this holiday season. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of gift buyers will do at least 50% of their holiday shopping on the internet, using their computer (76%), smartphone (30%), or tablet (24%).

The most popular shopping day for Floridians is Cyber Monday. Half (49%) of residents plan to buy gifts on the Monday after Thanksgiving, and retailers are responding. Holiday vendors, hungry for a piece of the online shopping share, are advertising on social media, and optimizing their websites and apps for mobile phones and tablets.

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