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Survey: New Year’s resolutions offer retailers opportunity

Holiday shoppers will continue their momentum into 2022.

Many consumers plan to spend money to help stay on track with their New Year’s resolutions.

According to a recent survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers from RetailMeNot, 85% of respondents were setting goals for the New Year, with 49% likely to spend money to keep their New Year’s resolutions. Top New Year’s resolutions for 2022 include exercising more (35%), reducing stress (32%), losing weight (30%), and spending more time with family (28%), and travel (19%).

However, some popular New Year’s resolutions are less likely to encourage spending, including saving money (44%), paying off debt (27%), and setting and sticking to a budget (22%).

Due to COVID-19 shortages during 2021, 29% of post-holiday shoppers will look for stores to have replenished product stock that was previously sold out. RetailMeNot’s data also shows that gift card purchase intent made its way to the top of many shopping lists in December (up 63%), meaning consumers will be ready to spend in the weeks after the holidays.

And as previously reported in Chain Store Age, RetailMeNot data indicates that more than 38% of shoppers will be returning holiday gift items they didn't want, with 51% of respondents saying they will be shopping after Christmas.

As to their reasons, 48% said they will look for better deals and sales after the holidays, and 34% said they are planning to shop for themselves. Nine percent will be looking for better-stocked shelves and items they couldn’t get during the Black Friday and the holiday shopping bottleneck.

And according to a survey from global shipping and mailing company Pitney Bowes, half of U.S. consumers (51%) are considering waiting until January or February to some purchases they originally planned for the holidays. The survey found that consumers, in the face of supply chain disruption, are hopeful for discounts and increased inventory following the holidays.

As to which items they would consider waiting to purchase until early 2022 (rather than purchasing during the holidays), the most popular product category is electronics, with 30% of all consumers holding out on electronics purchases. Apparel comes in at a close second, with 21% of all consumers, 31% of Gen Zers, and 25% of millennials waiting until the new year to make their purchases.

“With so many brands experiencing inventory shortages and shipping challenges this season, we suspect a large number of shoppers did not get exactly what they wanted during the holidays,” says Kristin McGrath, shopping expert at RetailMeNot. “The good news is that as stores replenish their stock in January, shoppers will have ample opportunities to finally get what they want and to save! Our data suggests we will see a spike in shopping activity the first few weeks of January as people rush to secure items they didn't receive. Not only will shoppers be in the market for the items we typically see demand for in the new year like home goods, health and beauty, fitness, travel items, there will also be an increase in demand for holiday-related categories like toys, clothing and gifts.”

The Ziff Media Group Consumer Pulse Holiday Survey was conducted between Oct. 25-26, 2021, among 1,108 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18 and up that were planning to shop during the 2021 season.

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