Twin Cities shoppers plan to open their pocketbooks for the holiday season, spending 20 percent more on gifts and entertaining this year.
A good 20 percent are likely to begin when the plates are cleared from Thanksgiving dinner, if local shoppers follow national norms reported by National Retail Federation.
A new survey from Deloitte estimates that local shoppers will spend about $1,238 per household on gifts this year, a hefty $200 more than last year.
Compared with both the national average and greater Midwestern region, shoppers in the Twin Cities are more frugal in their spending patterns, a trend consistent with last year's results.
"Midwestern values — or the cost of living here," said Matt Marsh, a lead partner in Deloitte's retail and distribution practice who is based in Minneapolis.
Thanksgiving Day shoppers this year will find themselves at the starting gate of a five-day sprint that the retail federation estimates will draw in 164 million people between now and Cyber Monday.
At the last check of the U.S. Census, that's a tidy one-half of the nation's population.
Retailers — including Minnesota giants Target and Best Buy — are gearing up for what they hope will be the busiest shopping season in a decade, as consumers feel more confident about their finances.
While 20 percent of shoppers surveyed by the retail federation said they would shop on Thanksgiving Day, 7 in 10 said they would hit the stores on Black Friday.
Gift cards, clothing and books rank among the most popular presents for Twin Cities shoppers, and about half of their purchases will be unplanned, Deloitte's survey found.
Local shoppers also view free shipping as more important than fast shipping and are willing to pay more for what researchers called "socially compliant, sustainable products," the survey found.
Those who fear that the holidays have become too commercialized, take heart. Experiences rank right up there with shopping, according to Deloitte's research.
Twin Cities shoppers said they plan to spend a little more than $500 of their budget on an average of 15 gifts. About $480 will go to experiences, such as socializing with friends or entertaining at home.
"That's clearly a big trend," said Marsh, whose own family now gives fewer gifts and instead plans a warm-weather vacation together. "People are looking for more experiences, and that continues to grow in its importance in the holiday season."