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Anticipated holiday spending consistent compared to last year

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Anticipated holiday spending consistent compared to last year

Online purchasing continues to increase year over year.

Tis the season to be shopping!

With the holidays quickly approaching and Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other retail-centric extravaganzas on the horizon, many people are beginning to plan their shopping sprees. And on how many lists will toys appear this year? According to a recent survey by The Harris Poll, just over half of all Americans (51%) plan to purchase toys as gifts this year, nearly consistent with last year's intent (50%). Not surprisingly, parents of a child under the age of 18 are twice as likely to purchase toys as those without children under the age of 18 (82% vs. 41%, respectively).   

"Just over half of all Americans (51%) plan to purchase toys as gifts this year."

Those with young children (age 9 or under) or tweens (ages 10-12) are more likely than those with teens (ages 13-17) to plan to purchase toys this holiday season (90% & 88% vs. 67%, respectively).

Spending compared to last year

Just 18% of Americans who will purchase toys intend to spend more than they did in the previous year. This number has decreased steadily over the past three years (23% in 2012, 20% in 2013, & 18% in 2014). While nearly half of all toy purchasers (48%) plan to spend the same amount on toys as they did last year, nearly one-third (31%) plan to spend less. 

Looking specifically at parents who plan to purchase toys, one-quarter (25%) intend to spend more on toys compared to last year; however, one-third (33%) intend to spend less.

Toys to be purchased this year

So what can kids expect to unwrap this year? Many can anticipate the gift of the written word, with half of parents planning to purchase children's books (50%). Games for consoles are a close second, with 47% planning to purchase, and 42% will pick up some arts and crafts supplies. Among the least popular toys parents plan to dole out are sports equipment and handheld electronic games, with only about one-quarter of parents purchasing these (24% & 25%, respectively).

Those without children under the age of 18 are more diverse in their purchase intentions; however, children's books remain the most popular with 34% planning to purchase. Just 9% plan to purchase the big ticket item of game consoles, while parents are three times more likely to pick up this item (27%).

Where people are shopping for toys

Large discount stores remain the most popular supplier for toys, with 45% of shoppers planning to buy at these locations. However, their popularity has decreased slightly from 2013 (47%), with a cumulative 6 point drop since 2012 (51%). With 37% of purchasers planning to do their shopping online, this outlet continues to increase year over year, seeing a jump of 4 points since 2013 (33%) and a cumulative 10 point jump since 2012 (27%).

National toy store retail chains and local, privately owned specialty toy stores are likely to be the least popular toy merchants this holiday season, with just 11% and 4% of purchasers planning to utilize these outlets, respectively.

The other family members

And let's not forget about family members of a different variety. Six-in-ten Americans (60%) are pet owners, with a large majority owning either a dog or a cat (65% & 53% of pet owners, respectively). Many pet owners don't plan on forgetting their furry friends this holiday season. 37% of Americans, and over half of pet owners (52%), are planning to purchase toys, treats or other products as gifts for a pet this year. Interestingly, 13% of those who do not have a pet still plan to purchase toys for one this season.

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