Barbie reigns as queen the list of must-have toys for girls, while boys can get enough of LEGOs. More than half of U.S. consumers will purchase gift cards for, you know, holiday gifts.
The holiday wish list for girls also includes L.O.L. Surprise dolls, LEGOs, American Girl, Hatchimals and Disney Princess. Boys also dream of Hot Wheels, Marvel action figures/toys, Paw Patrol, Nerf and gaming systems like the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox.
Spending on gift cards is expected to be around $30 billion with holiday shoppers planning to purchase an average of four gift cards worth approximately $49 each. The most popular gift cards include those for restaurants (purchased by 36% of buyers), department stores (32%), coffee shops (22%) and entertainment (17%).
Young Adults Leading Holiday Spending Growth
The findings come from a survey conducted for National Retail Federation (NRF) which also found
about three-quarters of Americans say they would spend the same or more this year, 43% of young adults ages 18-24 and 38% of those 25-34 said they would spend more. Only 9% of those 65 and older are planning to spend more.
Credit Cards Remain King of Holiday Spending Payment
Credit cards continue to be the most popular form of payment, used by 42% of shoppers. Debit cards are a close second, used by 39%, while 17% of consumers plan to pay with cash and 2% will use checks. Forty-four percent of consumers plan to other payment methods including PayPal (35%), Apple Pay (8%), Samsung Pay and Google Wallet (tied at 5%) and Venmo (4%).
In addition to shopping, seven in 10 holiday shoppers plan to engage in charitable activities including donating money and items to a charity or cause. Of those donating, 78% said it would have no effect on their overall holiday spending. Older generations are more likely to donate financially, while younger consumers lean more toward tangible donations.
Small Business Saturday a Smashing Success
Meanwhile, Small Business Saturday (11/24) brought in a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion this year. American Express reports Small Business Saturday spending has now reached a reported estimate of $103 billion since the day began in 2010. American Express reports its research shows an average two-thirds of every dollar spent at small businesses in the U.S. stays in the local community.