Consumers Confirm Holiday Shopping Plans


Multiple studies have forecast that consumers will spend more this holiday season, just one reason why small business owners may be looking to hire on new staff and expand inventories with a business cash advance. Now a new survey has focused directly on shoppers and their retail plans beginning in November.

Accenture reported one-quarter of U.S. consumers plan to spend more on holiday shopping this year when compared to 2013, with holiday gift-buying expected to average out to $718.

Interest in Black Friday shopping is also making waves, as the survey discovered enthusiasm for deals on the day after Thanksgiving has reached its highest level in eight years. Sixty-six percent of respondents said they are likely to shop on Black Friday, up from 55 percent in 2013 and 44 percent in 2007. While online shopping will certainly see a boost, nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said they will be shopping in a physical store between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

“The holiday shopping season is one of the most competitive times of the year for retailers, but they also have a big opportunity to drive sales and acquire new customers,” Dave Richards, global managing director for Accenture’s retail practice, said in a media release. “The majority of retailers look for ways to extend the holiday season as late as possible, but can face challenges in delivering a physical product in time. Personalized promotions and pushing gift cards are a good way for retailers to continue momentum and stretch this success into the post-holiday season.”

Other positive consumer news making headlines

This news comes at the same time the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index is on the rise, with more U.S. households feeling optimistic about the economy and buying climate, according to Bloomberg. The index rose to 36.8 during the period ending Oct. 5, up from a four-month low of 34.8. Meanwhile, the Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rose for the second straight month during September, also adding to positive consumer momentum.

“Steady economic improvements influencing consumer spending point to a more optimistic outlook for the year-end shopping season,” Alison Paul, vice chairman of Deloitte and retail and distribution sector leader, said in a press release. “With the holidays beginning, an economy on a more even keel will be a welcome sign for retailers.”

Whether small business owners take advantage of this swell in consumer activity with a business cash advance or some other type of small business loan, now appears to be the ideal time to capitalize on consumer sentiment.

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