retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports on a new Mintel survey saying that "a growing share of consumers are considering swapping stuff for gifts that let recipients explore a new hobby or enjoy a night on the town. Businesses from cooking schools to theaters say they’re benefiting from interest in gifts of experiences, despite risks of giving presents that can be tough to return, not to mention challenging to wrap."

This creates a real challenge to traditional retailers that have done a large percentage of their annual sales during the holidays, selling holiday gifts.

According to the story, "Half of consumers surveyed on their 2019 holiday shopping said they prefer experiences to tangible gifts, a trend that has been 'up across the board' in recent years, said Diana Smith, associate director at market research firm Mintel … Activities like dining out, traveling and entertainment are among the most common ways consumers say they’re spending discretionary money, she said. When Mintel asked consumers about their goals, one of the most popular answers was trying new things."
KC's View:
I believe this, especially at a time where a lot of people are trying to de-clutter their lives.

But … I think one has to keep this in context. I suspect that many of the people who say they don't want "stuff" for Christmas are the people who already have lots of "stuff." This may not be quite as across-the-board as the survey would suggest.