College Students' Holiday Spending Down

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A recent student panel survey conducted by OnCampus Research, the research arm of indiCo, a division of the National Association of College Stores, took a look at the shopping habits and preferences of college students pertaining to the approaching holiday season. A few of the findings:

A recent student panel survey conducted by OnCampus Research, the research arm of indiCo, a division of the National Association of College Stores, took a look at the shopping habits and preferences of college students pertaining to the approaching holiday season. A few of the findings:

  •     Spending is down this holiday season with nearly 30% of college students planning to spend less than the year prior. This year they plan to spend $331.26, almost $80 less than last year’s budget of $409.78.
  •     While the percentage of students planning to give less than five gifts doubled (18.7%) compared to 2012 (9.8%), many students (45%) are likely to purchase between 5 to 10 total gifts for family and friends.
  •     Many college students plan to kick-off their holiday shopping in early November or on Black Friday, but 44% will likely accomplish the majority in December this year.
  •     They plan to purchase clothing/shoes (60%), gift cards (53%), toys/games (44.5%), bath/beauty products (38.5%) and jewelry/watches/fashion accessories (36.5%) for others.
  •     Promotional deals/sales (60.8%), free shipping (40.6%) and coupons (29.9%) will most influence where they shop this holiday season.
  •     When asked what they’d like to receive as a gift this year, the majority replied cash, gift cards/certificates, clothes, a computer/laptop and a tablet in that order.

The OnCampus Research 2013 holiday survey was designed to gauge college student consumer behavior related to winter holiday shopping. The survey fielded from November 6-13, 2013 yielding 590 college student responses.

About NACS

Headquartered in Oberlin, Ohio, the National Association of College Stores (NACS) is the professional trade association representing the $10 billion collegiate retailing industry. NACS represents nearly 3,000 collegiate retailers and approximately 1,000 associate members who supply books and other products to college stores. NACS member stores serve America’s college students while supporting the academic missions of higher education institutions everywhere. Additional information on NACS can be found online at http://www.nacs.org.

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Jennifer Libertowski
National Association of College Stores
(800) 622-7498 Ext: 2249
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