NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 'Tis the season to be shopping! With the holidays quickly approaching and Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other retail-centric extravaganzas on the horizon, many people are beginning to plan their shopping sprees. And on how many lists will toys appear this year? Just over half of all Americans (51%) plan to purchase toys as gifts this year, nearly consistent with last year's intent (50%). Not surprisingly, parents of a child under the age of 18 are twice as likely to purchase toys as those without children under the age of 18 (82% vs. 41%, respectively).
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,205 U.S. adults surveyed online between October 15 and 20, 2014. The full results of the poll, including data tables, can be found here.
Those with young children (age 9 or under) or tweens (ages 10-12) are more likely than those with teens (ages 13-17) to plan to purchase toys this holiday season (90% & 88% vs. 67%, respectively).
Spending compared to last year
Just 18% of Americans who will purchase toys intend to spend more than they did in the previous year. This number has decreased steadily over the past three years (23% in 2012, 20% in 2013, & 18% in 2014). While nearly half of all toy purchasers (48%) plan to spend the same amount on toys as they did last year, nearly one-third (31%) plan to spend less.
Looking specifically at parents who plan to purchase toys, one-quarter (25%) intend to spend more on toys compared to last year; however, one-third (33%) intend to spend less.
Toys to be purchased this year
So what can kids expect to unwrap this year? Many can anticipate the gift of the written word, with half of parents planning to purchase children's books (50%). Games for consoles are a close second, with 47% planning to purchase, and 42% will pick up some arts and crafts supplies. Among the least popular toys parents plan to dole out are sports equipment and handheld electronic games, with only about one-quarter of parents purchasing these (24% & 25%, respectively).
Those without children under the age of 18 are more diverse in their purchase intentions; however, children's books remain the most popular with 34% planning to purchase. Just 9% plan to purchase the big ticket item of game consoles, while parents are three times more likely to pick up this item (27%).
Where people are shopping for toys
Large discount stores remain the most popular supplier for toys, with 45% of shoppers planning to buy at these locations. However, their popularity has decreased slightly from 2013 (47%), with a cumulative 6 point drop since 2012 (51%). With 37% of purchasers planning to do their shopping online, this outlet continues to increase year over year, seeing a jump of 4 points since 2013 (33%) and a cumulative 10 point jump since 2012 (27%).
National toy store retail chains and local, privately owned specialty toy stores are likely to be the least popular toy merchants this holiday season, with just 11% and 4% of purchasers planning to utilize these outlets, respectively.
The other family members
And let's not forget about family members of a different variety. Six-in-ten Americans (60%) are pet owners, with a large majority owning either a dog or a cat (65% & 53% of pet owners, respectively). Many pet owners don't plan on forgetting their furry friends this holiday season. 37% of Americans, and over half of pet owners (52%), are planning to purchase toys, treats or other products as gifts for a pet this year. Interestingly, 13% of those who do not have a pet still plan to purchase toys for one this season.
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This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between October 15 and 20, 2014 among 2,205 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.
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The Harris Poll® #103, November 18, 2014
By Allyssa Birth, Senior Research Analyst, The Harris Poll
About The Harris Poll®
Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. For more information, or to see other recent polls, visit the Harris Poll News Room.
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SOURCE The Harris Poll