Online holiday sales this year to reach $32B; Shoppers plan to spend $728 on their holiday gifts

Online holiday retail sales this year are expected to reach $32 Billion, an increase of 18% over last year's holiday season, according to JupiterResearch. The report says a record 114 million users, a 6% increase over last year, will buy online this holiday season.

The overall holiday shopping season will look much the same as last year with growth, but modest growth, according to the NPD Group's Annual Holiday Survey for the 2006 holiday shopping season.  Shoppers plan to spend $728 on their holiday gifts this year vs. $681 in 2005.  That’s a similar gain to what was seen in 2005 which was up over 2004 from $655.

Spending Intentions - ’06 vs. ‘05

Category Plan to
Purchase '06
Purchased '05
Clothing 65% 64%
Toys 47% 45%
Electronics 43% 55%
Books 41% 36%
Music 36% 33%
Fragrances 27% 25%
Source: NPD Holiday Survey

The biggest beneficiaries of this growth will be in the retail categories that contain “traditional” gift items.  Gifts like: clothing, toys, books, music and fragrances look to be gaining traction. Things like clothing and toys should see gains. Consumer Electronics will make a contribution to this season’s growth with notebooks and flat-panel televisions doing well.

18.5% of Holiday shoppers expect to shop for Home Decorations while and 13.5%  are to shop for Home Improvement, which puts them just below the top 10 Categories of expected purchases for 2006. 

Consumers expect to shop primarily at Discount/Mass Merchant retail outlets.  Retail chains and online shopping round out the top three places people plan to shop this year. 

Source:  The NPD Holiday Survey was fielded September 12 to September 19, 2006.  The findings presented here are based on information from 1,823 completed interviews of NPD's online consumer panel

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