Planned Holiday Spending Little Affected By Harvey In Houston

Harvey was a lot of things but maybe not a Grinch when it comes to holiday shopping. Houstonians remain on course to spend more than the national average


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Houston shoppers plan to spend $668 on holiday purchases this year, $36 more than the national average and more than in previous years, according to a survey by Accenture.

Jorge Corral, the company's southwest retail lead, said there's at least one way Harvey might have affected planned consumer spending for the holidays.

"Thirty percent of Houstonians indicated that an unexpected emergency would be a negative factor affecting their holiday spending," he said. Even more, 40 percent, said the price of gasoline might affect their spending negatively.

After Harvey, gas prices went up across the United States. But overall, Corral said, the effect from Harvey on planned holiday spending is negligible.

What is interesting is a national trend away from traditional peak holiday shopping days like Black Friday.

"For Houston, most shoppers, over 60 percent – 63 percent – are buying holiday gifts throughout the year," Corral said. "And we believe one reason why is because they have ready access to online discounts all the time."

Despite the ever-growing share of online shopping, he said, what consumers are spending on holiday purchases in stores is going up too.

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