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Experiences High On Consumers' Gift Lists

This year, presents will not only be appearing under the tree, but will be coming outside the home or throughout the year as more and more consumers gift experiences for the holidays. 

According to The NPD Group’s Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey, nearly 40% of U.S. consumer plans to purchase experiential gifts (things like wine tastings, concert tickets and spa treatments) this year. Food and beverage experiences led the list, cited by 47% of consumers intending to purchase an experiential gift, followed by event tickets (32%), spa experiences (31%) and travel (23%). 

Meanwhile, 7% of shoppers plan to purchase a subscription box or service as a gift. Similar to the experiential trends, food subscriptions top the list, followed by beverages, electronics, health and fitness, fashion and beauty/grooming.

Gen-Z and Millennials are leading this trend, though strong purchase intent can also be found among households with children and those with annual incomes over $75,000. Gift cards are also popular among the higher income households, though not so much with Gen-Z. Regardless, anticipated gift card purchase are expected to increase slightly, to be bought by about 45% of consumers. 

“Gen Z and Millennials think to give experiential gifts because that is what they seek — people like to give what they want themselves,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, in a statement. “Whether shoppers are looking for more unique gifts in general, or reacting to current retail offerings, the popularity of intangible gifts poses a very real threat to traditional retail.”

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