The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 2–4, 2025 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 2—4 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping forecasts. Yes, it seems everywhere you look lately, there’s a new report predicting the upcoming holiday shopping season. Will consumers start shopping earlier this year? Do they plan to cut back on spending? Where will they shop, and what will they be looking for?

Here’s a round-up of some of the latest holiday shopping forecasts and what they might mean for home and housewares.

Kicking Off the Season

Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy all will hold major kick-off sales in October this year. At this point, it looks like Target will be introducing a new private label kitchenware brand in time for its sale. Best Buy says it will offer expanded assortments in health and wellness, outdoor living, and outdoor cooking.

But do holiday shopping forcasts say this means more consumers will be shopping earlier? That much isn’t clear. An annual survey from consulting firm AlixPartners found that only 38% of consumers intend to start their holiday shopping before Halloween this year, down from 46% in their 2022 survey and 53% in 2021. Yet, an August study by creator retailing platform LTK found that 38% of consumers plan to start holiday shopping in September, a 25% increase from 2022.

Overall Spend

Mastercard SpendingPulse™ forecasts a 3.7% year-over-year, U.S. retail sales increase for the 2023 holiday season. While some consumers might spend the same or more than years past, it appears that a good number of consumers plan to cut back. One survey from cloud-based platform Celigo found that 77% of adult shoppers intend to look for cost-effective options this year.

“With numerous choices and tightening budgets, you can anticipate shoppers to be increasingly selective and value-focused,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Incorporated.

Meeting Needs and Inspiring Consumers

Affordability and value will likely be front and center for consumers this shopping season. Thirty-eight percent of respondents in the AlixPartners survey said they would purchase half or more of holiday gifts on sale, 33% would shop for more affordable brands, and 24% said they would cut back on self-gifting.

“We expect the most effective holiday strategy will be to meet consumers where they are,” said Mastercard’s Sadove. “Personalized promotions to in-store experiences will be key in doing so.”

And certainly, connecting with consumers and providing inspiration will be key for sellers of home and housewares goods. Take note: LTK’s study found that creators are now the most trusted source of holiday shopping inspiration for Gen Z and Millennials, surpassing social media ads and celebrities.

Where to Shop

Consumer insight firm CivicScience found that 45% of holiday shoppers plan to buy at least half of their gifts online this year, up from 41% a year ago. But even if consumers lean into online shopping a little more, there’s still plenty of business for bricks and mortar stores, as well as independent retailers.

After all, 53% of respondents in Celigo’s survey said they prefer independent retailers because they offer unique products that may not easily be found at chain stores. And 41% said they value the community connection offered by supporting local businesses.

According to CivicScience, those who prefer in-person shopping are likely to look for gifts related to entertainment, as well as food and cooking. When it comes to shopping online, they found that free shipping is the most important factor for consumers—a prospect that may be more challenging for retailers this year as delivery rates are up.

Get Ready for The Inspired Home Show 2024!

March 17-19, 2024