Business

Houston Holiday Spending Expected To Be Down Significantly This Season

The coronavirus pandemic is leaving its mark on holiday shopping in more ways than one.

Houstonians plan to spend significantly less this holiday season compared to previous years.

Houstonians plan to spend significantly less this holiday season compared to previous years.

Houston consumers plan to spend $583 on holiday shopping this year, according to the annual holiday shopping survey by Accenture. That's still more than the national average, at $539 — but down nearly $100 from last year.

And perhaps unsurprisingly during a pandemic, more people want to shop online.

"Houston has the highest percentage of people who will do at least some of their shopping online, at 85%," said Lori Zumwinkle, North America retail leader at Accenture.

Last year, that number stood at 70%.

Just 57% of Houstonians plan to also shop in store. Like in the rest of the country, that number is down significantly from 2019.

Many people — 44% in Houston — also said they will use curbside pickup to shop.

And despite being known as a food city, only 26% of Houstonians plan on eating out this holiday season. Compare that to 40% of New Yorkers.

Nationwide, the holiday shopping season may be spread out beyond just a few days around Thanksgiving.

"Retailers are going, ‘how do I create an environment that my consumers and employees feel safe, but also how do I handle this volume?’" Zumwinkle said. "And so they're really pushing to spread the holiday season across November and December and even some starting at the end of October."

More than 60% of Houstonians said they are less inclined to shop on Thanksgiving or Black Friday this year.

Zumwinkle said the human factor played a big role in this year's survey — “consumers voicing their expectations to retailers around how they expect them to treat their employees and also how they treat the consumers.”

That includes health and safety, as well as giving employees Thanksgiving Day off.

A majority of Houstonians said they plan to shop at local retailers, and more than 40% want to support and shop at minority-owned businesses.

The survey was conducted among 8,194 people in 17 U.S. cities in September.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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