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Dive Brief:

  • Clothing is one of the top items shoppers plan to gift others this holiday season and may be susceptible to an increase in holiday promotions, according to a Nov. 1 note by Kristen Classi-Zummo, director and apparel industry analyst at The NPD Group. 
  • An October NPD Omnibus Survey referenced in the note found that 43% of respondents said they need to buy new coats and jackets for the upcoming winter season. Classi-Zummo attributed the interest in outerwear to the return to the office, parties and other in-person events. 
  • Meanwhile, NPD found that 36% of consumers plan to buy a consumer technology product this holiday season, a slight decrease from 37% in 2021 and an increase from 33% in 2020.

Dive Insight:

Consumers have been buying based on their immediate needs and have thus held off on purchasing certain apparel. As the holiday season begins, though, shoppers’ needs will change, driving sales in some areas.

“Outerwear and other cold weather categories have largely gone unreplenished over the past two years, as consumers turned to layering styles, like sweatshirts,” Classi-Zummo wrote. An increase of consumers hosting or visiting family and friends during the holidays will motivate spend for dressier apparel. 

Additionally, NPD Group’s research offered some insights into what kinds of consumer electronics shoppers want this holiday season. The share of shoppers who are purchasing a smartphone this holiday season rose by 27% compared to 2020. Twenty-seven percent of shoppers whose yearly household income is more than $150,000 said they wanted to buy a smartphone this holiday season, but only 13% of shoppers who earned between $75,000 and $150,000 a year said the same. That share drops down to 12% for shoppers who earn less than $75,000.

In addition to smartphones, shoppers are also looking for headphones, tablets and smartwatches, NPD found. Interest in smartwatches is the highest it has been in the past three years. 

“After two years of strong growth supported by at-home pandemic-era needs, consumers expect to spend fewer dollars this holiday season on [consumer electronics],” Paul Gagnon, vice president and industry adviser for NPD, said in a statement. “Categories like smartphones and smartwatches are benefitting from consumers planning to spend more time away from home.”

The NPD’s research mirrors other reports indicating that shoppers want to spend more on clothing this year. An Oracle survey released last month found that 30% of shoppers wanted to buy fashion and apparel this holiday season. The desire for clothing comes as retailers are faced with an excess of inventory.


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