Charlotte shoppers will spend $605 on average over the holidays, survey says

Charlotte shoppers will spend $605 on average over the holidays, survey says

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Katherine Peralta | The Charlotte Observer) - Shoppers in Charlotte plan to spend $605 on average this holiday season – slightly less than the national average spending expectation.

That's according to a survey released early Tuesday by Accenture, which found that shoppers nationwide plan to spend $632 on average on holiday gifts. Shoppers in New York City say they plan to spend the most ($825), and shoppers in Austin plan to spend the least ($465.)

Roughly half of Charlotte shoppers prefer to spread their shopping out year round, as opposed to waiting for the holidays, according to the survey.

That jibes with what the survey found nationally: 64 percent of respondents say they shop for holiday gifts throughout the year, thanks to the nearly constant discounting on stores' websites, and deal days like Amazon Prime Day.

More than half (54 percent) of the consumers surveyed plan to do their holiday shopping online this year, the survey found.

Customers' tendency to shop more online – and less on peak holiday spending days – is why Thanksgiving and Black Friday have turned into less frenzied affairs in Charlotte malls (and elsewhere throughout the U.S.) than they were in the past.

Still, the holiday shopping season is important for retailers. The National Retail Federation said recently it expects sales in November and December to rise 3.6 percent to 4 percent, to a range of $678.75 billion to $682 billion.

"Given the rise of constant discounts and promotions on sites such as Amazon, consumers are doing more of their holiday shopping year-round, and this is proving to be the biggest competitor to the traditional peak holiday shopping days," said Jill Standish, senior managing director and head of Accenture's retail practice.

Accenture conducted 7,500 interviews in 15 major metros nationwide for its survey, including 500 in Charlotte.