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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

DFW consumers expected to spend more than national average this holiday season

Christmas comes but once a year. And, retailers are banking on Dallas-Fort Worth’s shopping spree this holiday season.

DFW shoppers are expected to spend $1,502 per household during this holiday season, according to a newly released report by Deloitte.

The expenditure is slightly higher than the national average of $1,496 and the South average of $1,475.

However, amidst talks of an economic slowdown next year, holiday spirits might have dropped a little. Consumer outlook on the 2020 economy was reported to be the weakest it has been since 2011.

Nationally, 45% of shoppers expect the economy to weaken next year, up from 27% last year. Whereas, 38% of DFW shoppers shared a similar view on the economy but a large majority plans to spend even more than or same as last year.

DFW shoppers surveyed by Deloitte expect to spend about 2% less this holiday season compared to last year.

Consumer anxiety is high in DFW but not as much as the national average, which exemplifies the “inherent DFW optimism,” Kevin Lane, a principal at Deloitte in Dallas, told the Business Press.

“The leadership here has done a very good job in creating an environment that is lucrative for retailers, and businesses more broadly, to want to operate in,” Lane said. “I think it creates a sense of optimism and prosperity that carries over into general sentiment when you think about things like retailer consumer sentiments. It’s a spill-over effect of positivity.”

The optimism during this holiday season will, in turn, boost the sales and sentiments for businesses looking to start the new year in a positive.

The National Retail Federation forecasts shoppers will be spending more than $727 billion this holiday season, making it the biggest shopping season of the year for retailers.

Local big-box retailers are gearing up for a busy and much-need holiday shopping season signaled by the Black Friday Weekend.

Grapevine-based GameStop is offering “doorbusters” starting at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day that includes deals on the still-popular Nintendo Switch.

Pier 1 Imports, which is adjusting to a recent leadership change following months of financial woes, are yet to announce any Black Friday deals. In previous years, the retailer gave up to 30% discount on Christmas decorative and paraphernalia.

Any discount offerings might still be to no avail for Pier 1, as home and holiday furnishings are expected to see the largest decline amongst surveyed DFW shoppers with a projected 37% decrease in year-over-year spend, the Deloitte report said.

Discounts could, however, determine how well other retailers perform this holiday season. DFW shoppers remain attracted by price discounts, with 73% saying it’s the most important incentive for holiday purchases.

And since the holiday season is for everybody and not just the mass merchants, others are following suit as well.

American Airlines, along with various other airlines, is offering Black Friday discounts on flights to domestic and international destinations.

“Most retailers make the bulk of their goals for the year – it’s make-or-break – in the holiday season,” Lane said. “It’s a crucial season to be successful.”

Local, small businesses in Fort Worth recorded a 71% increase in sales, on average, during Black Friday, as per a data analysis by software company Womply.

A majority of all holiday shopping – nationally and in DFW – is expected to be done away from the crowds.

DFW households surveyed by Deloitte said they will spend an average of $890 online this holiday shopping season.

And most of them are favoring the gift of experiences over material goods.

DFW holiday season shoppers will spend about $573 on experiences – which includes items such as home entertainment, travel, hotel, restaurants, etc. This segment of the expenditure represents 25% of the projected holiday spend.

“As your Gen Z or post Millennial generation comes of age and begins to develop its own buying power, the younger the consumer the more experiential their appetite appears to be,” Lane said. “We’re anticipating that experiential buying and gift cards and other monetary equivalents will continue to be popular.”

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Neetish Basnet
Neetish is a writer and digital content producer for Fort Worth Business Press. He has been covering businesses of all shapes and sizes in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex for several years. After graduating with a journalism degree from University of Texas-Arlington, Dow Jones News Fund selected him for a digital media fellowship. He still likes the smell of a freshly printed newspaper.

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