Dive Brief:

  • As retailers extend their sales before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 20% of PwC’s Holiday Outlook 2022 survey respondents said they’re planning to shop on Black Friday. Of the 4,00 consumers surveyed, only 17% said they’re planning to wait until after the Thanksgiving weekend to shop for the holidays. 
  • Forty-one percent of PwC survey respondents said they’re waiting for the discounts retailers will offer between Thursday through Monday of Thanksgiving weekend to make most of their holiday purchases. 
  • Three-quarters of survey respondents said they anticipate higher prices and are looking for markdowns. About the same share (74%) said they plan to spend the same or more this holiday season compared to 2021.

Dive Insight:

In shoppers’ minds, the end of November appears to be the end of the shopping season, and retailers have behaved accordingly. In late October, Kohl’s unveiled its month-long holiday sales events for November on items ranging from toys, home goods, activewear, casual apparel and other products. Walmart also introduced its holiday deals in late October and special access for Walmart+ subscribers. However, retailers’ discounts broadly are not as deep as in years past despite high inventory levels.

Though many PwC survey respondents plan to spend the same amount or more this holiday season than last year, the rising cost of expenses weighs heavily on them, driving them to look for more markdowns. More than half (53%) of respondents said they were concerned about rising inflation. Less than half of the respondents were worried about the cost of transportation (44%), utilities (36%) and housing (23%). 

It remains to be seen just how many consumers will pay for their holiday purchases with installment payment companies. PwC’s report also notes that while few consumers plan to use buy now, pay later options for their holiday purchases, the service seems more popular among younger consumers. The survey found that while 13% of consumers overall are paying for their holiday goods with BNPL platforms, 20% of millennials are doing so. 

In October, Adobe released a report predicting that shoppers will not use BNPL options as often this year, citing a slowdown in the service earlier this year compared to last year. Another October survey of 1,000 shoppers from Bluedot found that 48% of Gen Z respondents anticipated using BNPL services for the holidays, followed by millennials (47%), Gen X (40%) and baby boomers (14%). Nearly one in five respondents said that they’re using installment payment platforms to stretch their limited funds.


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