Deloitte 25th Annual Holiday Survey: Spending Intentions Are Encouraging Despite Consumers' Chilly Outlook

Southern Californians Plan to Shop Carefully Due to the Economy; Consumers Look to Ring up Savings through Online, Mobile Channels

Dec 06, 2010, 08:00 ET from Deloitte

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ --


Deloitte 25th Annual Holiday Survey


Jackie Fernandez, partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP and Pacific Southwest region retail sector leader

Brent Schoenbaum, partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP


Available immediately


Deloitte has released the results of its 25th Annual Holiday Survey of consumers' spending intentions and trends for the 2010 holiday season. Among Deloitte's latest findings:

Southern California consumers show willingness to spend, despite dim economic outlook

  • Matching the national results, more than six out of 10 (62 percent) survey respondents in Southern California plan to spend more or the same on the holidays, as compared to last year.
  • Southern California consumers appear to hold a conservative outlook on the United States economy, with only about four out of 10 (43 percent) of those surveyed expecting the economy to improve next year. The local outlook is slightly more optimistic than the national sentiment, which shows that only 39 percent of consumers anticipate an improvement in the economy next year.
  • Consistent with Deloitte's national findings, nearly half (48 percent) of consumers in Southern California feel that the U.S. economy is weak but recovering from a recession.

Household financial situations could be getting back on track, but Southern California consumers plan to spend cautiously

  • Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Southern Californians surveyed indicate their household financial situation is the same or better than last year at this time.
  • Consumers in Southern California, however, plan to maintain a careful approach to spending, as nearly three-quarters (74 percent) plan to change the way they shop this holiday season in an effort to save money.
  • Almost half (44 percent) of Southern Californians surveyed intend to purchase more gifts with cash than they have in the past, and 37 percent say they have permanently cut back the amount of money they spend.

Stores that offer value and popular gifts are likely to attract Southern Californians

  • More than half (53 percent) of consumers surveyed in Southern California expect to shop at discount/value department stores.
  • Toy stores and warehouse membership clubs are also popular, with almost one-third of local respondents (30 percent) saying they are likely to shop at each of these store categories.

Gift cards hold the top spot on shoppers' lists

  • Gift cards land at the top of the list of gift items consumers in Southern California plan to purchase, followed by clothing and games, toys and dolls.  Local consumers plan to buy an average of 5.7 gift cards this year, slightly higher than the national average of 5 gift cards. However, Southern Californians plan to spend an average of $27.64 per gift card, roughly 11 percent less than the national average of $31.20.
  • Gift cards are also in favor among gift recipients; almost half (48 percent) of Southern Californians prefer to receive gift cards rather than merchandise.
  • Money ranked as a popular gift this year as well, with nearly three out of 10 (32 percent) local respondents planning to give gifts in the form of cash or checks.

Mobile and online channels influence holiday purchases

  • More than three quarters (77 percent) of Southern California respondents indicate that online research will influence their holiday purchases.
  • Shoppers in Southern California may also reach for their phones before reaching for their wallets.  Among the nearly one in four local consumers (23 percent) who plan to use their smartphones in the holiday shopping process, 57 percent of them will do so to get store locations and 56 percent will use them to compare prices.
  • More than one out of 10 (12 percent) of Southern California consumers may turn to social networks for information such as discounts and sales, gift ideas and coupons, and reviews and recommendations for products and stores this holiday season.  

For more information about Deloitte's Annual Holiday Survey, including additional statistics, historical data and useful links, please visit

About the Survey

The survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research company between September 23 and October 10, 2010. The survey polled a sample of 12,418 consumers nationwide, with a Southern California sample size of 580, and has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus one percentage point.

For the purposes of this survey, the term "Southern California" encompasses Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, San Diego County and Ventura County.

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. All services are provided within the rules and regulations applicable to the practice of public accounting.

SOURCE Deloitte