According to Accenture’s (ACN - Analyst Report) Holiday Shopping Survey report, the consulting firm expects U.S. consumer spending during the holiday season to increase 11% over the previous year.
The online survey was conducted on 500 U.S. customers, which revealed that the planned average spending per gift is expected to increase from $582 to $646. Despite the increase in spending, the study noted that 94% of the surveyed people were keen on discounted deals, up from 84% last year.
In addition, 49% of the customers confirmed that they have budgeted three-quarters of their purchases for discounted or sale items. The study indicated that shopping on Black Friday will be a rage as 55% of shoppers planned to shop that day, which increased from 53% in 2012.
Online shopping is expected to be the preferred medium with 30% shoppers voting in favor of shopping online on Black Friday. In all, 63% shoppers are expected to resort to online shopping, a significant increase from 56% in 2012.
The Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey report also indicated that an increase in discretionary income will compel buyers to spend more this holiday season.
Moreover, retail bellwethers such as Target Corp. (TGT - Analyst Report) , Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT - Analyst Report) , Kohl’s Corp. (KSS - Analyst Report) and hhgregg Inc. have also braced themselves to capitalize on the increased spending level during this holiday season. Retailers have resorted to early-hour store openings, promotional events, free shipping on online purchases or heavy discounts to lure holiday customers.
Thus, despite the economic concerns and low consumer confidence in September, Accenture’s positive survey indicates a respite for the retailers targeting the holiday season.
Currently, Accenture has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).