Philadelphians to Spend 18 Percent Less on Holiday Shopping in 2015

Yet we're still spending more than any other city on gifts.



When it comes to holiday shopping, the Philadelphia region is tightening its belt this season. It’s decreasing its holiday spending by 18 percent compared to last year— but nationally, spending is increasing 12.5 percent.

That’s according to a new study from professional services firm Deloitte, finding that Philadelphia-area consumers expect to spent $1,249 compared to $1,532 in 2014 — a difference of nearly $300. Nationally, spending is set to be $1,462 in 2015.

Philly-area spending is down in every category examined: People are spending 12 percent less on gifts, 33 percent less on socializing away from home, and 20 percent less on non-clothing for family or themselves.

Here’s a handy chart:

Courtesy of Deloitte. From Deloitte’s 2015 Holiday Shopping Survey.

Courtesy of Deloitte. From Deloitte’s 2015 Holiday Shopping Survey.

Why are we spending less? Are we just frugal or is it some sign of a slowing economy? Deloitte says it’s mostly frugality, as Philadelphia respondents say they’ve decided to spend more responsibly this season.

Bill Park, Deloitte’s Philadelphia retail specialist, says Philadelphia’s holiday spending was unusually high last year, so there is a bit of market correction going on.

“In Philadelphia, they like a deal and consumers use coupons,” said Park. “Also people in Philadelphia said they want to act a little more responsibly this year and keep the holidays simple.”

Still, the $533 Philadelphians are spending on gifts is the most of any major metropolitan city.

“Philadelphia is generous with the amount they’re spending on gifts, they’re just not spending as much on themselves this year,” said Park. Still, the New Yorks and San Franciscos of the world will far outspend Philly on entertainment, home furnishings and other things, he said.

Online shopping will continue to be a growing method for Philly shoppers. In fact, 79 percent will use a smartphone and 75 percent will use a tablet to shop this season. Plus, tablet ownership has increased to 58 percent in the Philadelphia area — the biggest single year growth of any city surveyed.

Expect Philadelphians to infuse the local economy this holiday season by shopping locally. In fact, 70 percent of Philly-area customers say they’ll shop at local retail stores. Still, the No. 1 pick for shopping is national department stores followed by the Internet and discount value stores.