When it comes to holiday shopping, North Texans outpace the national average for in-store purchasing yet lag behind in online commerce.
That’s according to Deloitte’s newly released consumer survey that finds consumers in Fort Worth, Dallas and Denton County planning to spend more on gifts this year.
“The big surprise for me this year was seeing a real uptick in traditional department store shopping,” said Gene Monacelli, a principal at Deloitte, a tax, consulting and financial advisory services firm whose 2016 holiday survey marks its 31st such study and its fifth for North Texas.
The latest survey polled 518 respondents, 51 percent female and 49 percent male; average age of 45; average annual pre-tax household income totaling $75,000; and 32 percent having children younger than 18 living at home. An independent research firm conducted the Sept. 6-20 survey, which polled 5,038 consumers nationwide.
The study found 70 percent of North Texans surveyed not planning on altering their holiday spending based on the outcome of the presidential election. It also found Dallas-Fort Worth shoppers planning to spend 38 percent more, or $453, on gifts compared to the national average of $329. The amount that DFW shoppers plan on spending on gifts and gift cards this year totaled $566, 24 percent more than they did last year.
North Texans are decidedly old school when shopping, with 43 percent preferring department and discount stores more than the national average of 37.5 percent. And only 44 percent of DFW shoppers surveyed said they plan on using the Internet for holiday shopping compared to the national average of 50 percent.
“We are much more social,” said Monacelli, based in Dallas, describing North Texas shoppers as more eager to patronize actual retail stores than online sites.
With several retailers headquartered locally, Monacelli described customers as loyal to familiar stores.
“We are a retail-friendly city,” Monacelli said of North Texas. “We tend to go to the same stores year in and year out. There is a sense of loyalty.”
Survey results downplay identity theft and similar security issues as driving shoppers to bricks-and-mortar shopping despite rising numbers of online security breaches at retail stores and banks. Ninety two percent of survey North Texas respondents said they will continue to shop at retailers that have suffered a data breach.
About 70 percent of respondents said they plan on viewing products online before purchase them at physical retail locations.
They also expressed rising confidence when it comes to finances, according to survey results. About 43 percent of shoppers are more optimistic about the economy compared to 36 percent last year. And about 39 percent say their household’s financial state is better than last year compared to the national average of 36 percent.
And local shoppers seem less impressed by Black Friday sales, or those made the day after Thanksgiving.
“People find deals year round and don’t have as much of a pent-up demand,” Monacelli said. “They prefer to be with their friends and family on Black Friday rather than shopping.”