Nearly six in 10 Americans (58%) are planning to purchase toys as gifts this holiday season, a seven point jump from last year’s 51%, according to a recent Harris Poll of 2,225 U.S. adults surveyed online between Oct. 14-19, 2015.
Moreover, among those planning a toy purchase, three in 10 (30%) say the total cost of those gifts will add up to more than last year (up 12 points from 2014). Just over one-fourth (27%) say they’ll be spending less than last year, down a bit from 31% in 2014, while four in 10 (40%) anticipate their spending will be “no different than last year” (vs. 48% in 2014).
Another group of family members should also be looking forward to getting something special this season. More than four in 10 Americans (43%, up six points from last year) – and six in 10 pet owners (61%) –plan to buy presents for pets this holiday season. It is also worth noting that even among those without pets, 16% plan on buying a present for a pet.
But who’s really doing the spending?
As one might expect, most (86%) parents with children under 18 living at home plan to buy toys as gifts this year, though it’s worth noting that 45% of those without minors at home plan to do so as well. Meanwhile, the younger the children the more likely parents are to be showering them with gifts this season. Parents of children nine or under (92%) are the most likely to make toy purchases, as compared to those who are parents of tweens (ages 10-12, 84%) or full blown teenagers (ages 13-17, 77%).
So what might these lucky children receive? Children’s books (perhaps one by younger Americans’ favorite author) top the list of planned purchases (45%), followed by arts and crafts supplies (36%), dolls (34%) and console video games (32%). Three in ten each will be bringing home board games (30%), and/or building blocks and bricks (30%).
Another quarter (25%) plan to present sports equipment as a present this year, while 21% are looking to give handheld electronic games (21%) and 16% plan on giving game consoles (16%).
Large discount stores win again
Where will all these gift-givers be shopping? Nearly half (47%) plan to shop at large discount stores, while over a third say they’ll surf for gifts online (36%). Less than one in 10 each plan to buy presents at national toy store retail chains (9%) or local privately-owned specialty stores (5%).