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If Consumers Cancelled Holiday Spending

Given the urge of a return to sanity in spending and a re-emphasis on saving in response to the rough economic times that we have been living through, what would happen if consumers stopped spending on the major retail holidays? Even though Halloween is not a holiday, it has earned its place as a “can’t miss” date on the calendar by retailers.

Think about the impact if everyone stopped paying lip service to the real meaning of holidays and actually did something about it. As with most things, there is a way to measure the impact.

Cancelling Christmas

According to an article by Lydia Saad titled “Consumers Issue a Cautious Christmas Spending Forecast” posted October 25, 2018 on the Gallup website, consumers planned to spend an average of $715 each on gifts for Christmas. Christmas is the big fish when it comes to retail spending.

The National Retail Federation posted an article by Kathy Grannis November 28, 2018 titled “NRF: Black Friday Weekend Sees Bigger Crowds, $45 Billion in Spending”. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and considered the start of the Christmas shopping season.

What Is Next

Paying tribute to mom is the next mother load for retailers. According to an article by Kathy Grannis April 20, 2018 titled “Mom Second Only to Winter Holidays, According to NRF Survey”, the average spending per person was $126.90 on Mother’s Day gifts in 2018. Total spending on this day is $14.6 billion divided between gifts, food and flowers.

Valentine’s Day

Cupid is big business on Valentine’s Day. According to an article by Kathy Grannis January 29, 2017, titled “Cupid Goes Head to Head With Economy This Valentine’s Day”, the average spending per person was projected at $102.50 on Valentines’s Day in 2017. Total spending on this day is $14.7 billion.

Father’s Day

Paying tribute to dear old dad is not bad business for retailers either. According to an article by Kathy Grannis June 3, 2018 titled “Clothes, Gadgets and Gift Cards Prevail as Top Gifts This Father’s Day, According to NRF Survey”, the average spending per person was projected at $94.32 on Father’s Day in 2018. Total spending on this day is $9.8 billion.

The Others

There seems to be a holiday to spur spending for any given segment of retail: candy and costumes on Halloween; food retailers on Thanksgiving and Christmas; restaurants on Valentine’s, Mother’s and Father’s Days; and clothing and gifts on Easter. We have become programmed to respond in predictable ways to these holidays with predicable spending patterns. Panic would moe than likely ensue if a huge break occurred in those expenditures.

Adding Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentine’s Day together equals $1,038.72 per person and $83.8 billion total. When you throw Halloween into the mix you gain another $66.28 and $5.8 billion total, according to Kathis Grannis in an article on the NRF website on September 22, 2018. If that spending went to one third of current levels it would cause chaos throughout the retail world and some retailers would cease to exist.

Can we even afford to break our addiction to the spending-based holidays that have eclipsed the original meanings of the celebrations? How do we become more prudent and less materialistic without contributing more to a self-induced downward spiral?

It is a personal choice if we decide to pull back and restore the meaning of holidays beyond measurement in dollars spent. Does the cost of the gift equal the degree of feelings?