The Shullman Research Center found that 21 percent of U.S. adults who plan Christmas shopping expect to purchase jewelry this year; however, the percentage increases dramatically for the top 41 percent of households, or those earning $75,000 or more. In the group's latest proprietary "Insights Into Luxury, Affluence And Wealth" report, 27 percent of those earning between $75,000 and $249,000 plan to buy jewelry this Christmas season, while 29 percent of those earning between $250,000 and $499,999 and 38 percent earning $500,000 or more expect to make a jewelry purchase. The top gift for all income levels was gift cards, followed by toys, video games, clothing, books, electronics and food. Jewelry tied with home electronics on the shopping list, but scored ahead of liquor, designer clothing and accessories, charitable donations, designer cosmetics, travel and wine or champagne.
In all, 69 percent of U.S. adults who plan on shopping for the Christmas festival anticipate spending about the same amount as they had in 2013, according to Shullman Research Center. Thirteen-percent expect to spend more and 16 percent plan to spend less this holiday season.
The average Christmas shopping budget for all adults who intend to spend was $904. However, those who earn between $75,000 and $249,000 expect to spend $1,387 this year, while adults earning between $250,000 to $499,999 budgeted $2,479, on average, and those with incomes of $500,000 or more expect to spend $4,228 on gifts.
While 18 percent of U.S. consumers do not intend to shop for the Christmas season, the luxury consulting group found that 17 percent of shoppers who buy for the holiday have already begun. An additional 23 percent intend to begin Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, 18 percent expect to start and finish their shopping during Thanksgiving week, 17 percent plan to shop during the first two weeks in December and 7 percent will not begin holiday purchases before the middle of December.
Shullman Research Center also advised luxury goods marketers that all affluent consumers are not alike because their 2014 Christmas shopping plans differ widely when it comes spending capacity as well as for which generation they belong. As for where and how consumers shop -- online continues its steady climb and is approaching brick-and-mortar levels, the group concluded.
Nearly one-quarter of wealthy senior citizens do not plan on any Christmas shopping this year, according to the survey. Fifty-six percent of wealthy millennials plan to begin shopping before or around Thanksgiving, while 22 percent of generation-X have already begun holiday shopping and an additional 32 percent of that age group may start before Thanksgiving. Baby boomers on the survey revealed that 33 percent of that generation have already begun their Christmas shopping.
Shullman Research also found that upscale millennials and boomers are planning to spend more this year (more than $1,500 on average) compared with gen-X and seniors, whose planned spending ranges from about $1,000 to $1,100, on average.