More Americans Than Ever Say They Won’t Be Buying Christmas Gifts

By Published on November 28, 2021

A record number of Americans say they won’t be purchasing gifts for the holidays this year amid ongoing inflation concerns and supply chain disruptions, a survey shows.

Roughly 11% of Americans said they expected to spend no money at all on gifts during the holiday season, according to a holiday retail survey by Deloitte. The number is the highest since Deloitte began its holiday retail survey in the 1980s and more than double the share of shoppers in 2020 who said they wouldn’t be buying presents.

Almost two-thirds of those not buying gifts earned less than $50,000 per year. Those earning over $100,000 said they expected to spend $2,624 on gifts, a 15% increase from last year, while those earning less than $50,000 expected to spend $536 on gifts, a 22% decrease from last year.

“This tale of two holidays is a pretty good reflection of the tale of two pandemics, right?,” Stephen Rogers, managing director of Deloitte’s consumer industry center, told CNBC in an interview. “What starts off as a health crisis turns into a financial crisis if you’re in the lower-income.”

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Consumers cited inflation concerns as a reason they were buying less gifts, with 39% saying that they expected to spend more on gifts because “things cost more this year in general,” while 50% of those spending less on gifts cited higher food prices.

“It’s just going to be tough on a fair number of folks,” Rod Sides, vice chairman of retail and distribution at Deloitte, told CNBC. “When gas prices, food prices and those kinds of normal things continue to rise at the pace that we’re seeing, there’s this uncertainty that says, ‘I probably don’t need to splurge on that particular item, because now I have to cover my rent, and maybe I didn’t before.’”

Consumers are also worried about supply chain disruptions, with 75% of shoppers concerned about electronics, accessories, toys, and hobby products being out of stock.

The poll surveyed 4,315 consumers between Sept. 7 and Sept. 14, 2021, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 1-2%.

 

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