November 21, 2023
NRF survey shows top 5 gift categories for the holidays

The latest survey from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics shows the top items consumers are shopping for throughout the season, including the most popular toys.

Joyful Plush Tree. Mon Ami.
Joyful Plush Tree. Mon Ami.

The top five gift categories consumers plan to give are clothing (56%), followed by gift cards at 44%, toys at 37%, books, video games and other media at 31%, and food/candy at 29%. A record 28% of consumers intend to buy personal care and beauty items as gifts this holiday season, up from about one-quarter in recent years.

The most popular source for gift inspiration remains online search (44%), followed by friends and family (35%), in-store (32%) and wish lists (26%).

“Social media continues to be a popular destination to find holiday gift ideas, especially among younger consumers, who are turning to TikTok and Instagram for inspiration,” said Phil Rist, Prosper Insights & Analytics executive vice president of strategy. “For those between the ages of 35 and 44, Facebook is the favored platform for gathering gift ideas.”

The top toys for boys this year include Legos, Hot Wheels and cars, and the top toys for girls include Barbie, dolls and Legos.

Overall Spending

Holiday shoppers expect to spend $875 on average on gifts, decorations, food and other key seasonal items.

The survey asked 8,424 adult consumers about their holiday shopping plans. It was conducted Nov. 1-6 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Overall holiday spending is expected to reach record levels during November and December and will grow between 3% and 4% over 2022, totaling $957.3 billion to $966.6 billion, according to NRF’s holiday forecast. By comparison, last year holiday sales totaled $929.5 billion.

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