Spending On Apparel Before Holidays


Find statistics to prove that spending on apparel and accessories increases before Americans go on holiday. This report will be used to explore potential success for a partnership between a travel brand and an apparel & accessories retailer.

Early Findings


  • The National Retail Federation (NRF) announced that the holiday retail sales in November and December (before holidays) increased between 4.3 and 4.8 percent from 2017 through 2018 for a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion.
  • According to the NRF report, before-holidays sales of clothing stores represented 22.1% of the annual sales of these stores in 2017.
  • In 2018, only 12 percent of consumers had finished their holiday shopping as of December 12. A total of 55 percent expected to be done purchasing gifts by December 20, with 6 percent saying they will still be shopping December 24 and 5 percent saying their final gifts won’t be bought until after Christmas.
  • About 54 percent of consumers purchased clothing or clothing accessories in the period before holidays (November and December 2018).
  • According to the Mastercard SpendingPulse report for the 2018 holiday season (from the first of November through Christmas Eve), the US retail sales grew 5.1%. This resulted in revenue of $850 billion, which is the strongest growth in the last six years.
  • "The growth from apparel was next at 7.9% compared to 2017, which was the best growth rate since 2010. Mastercard said the growth in apparel was in part driven from the momentum the industry experienced during the back-to-school season and continued until Christmas."


  • Most holiday shoppers will start shopping before Thanksgiving. Almost one-fifth (18 percent) had already started their shopping in early September and another 21 percent said they planned to start shopping before November.
  • The early shopping trend is good news for retailers, as early shoppers are likely to spend US$370 more than those who start their shopping later.
  • Given the potentially greater spend by early shoppers, retailers would benefit from having strategies that encourage shoppers to start their shopping sooner rather than later. These can include limited-duration deals and promotional offerings early in the shopping season.


  • In 2018, more than a third have plans to start their shopping in September or earlier.
  • Four in 10 women are likely to start 2018 Halloween shopping early, compared with only 33% of men.
  • The majority of sales in 2017 was from costume purchases with $3.4 billion, according to the NRF.
  • About 20 percent of Americans started shopping for their costumes in the last two weeks of October, though some start planning weeks ahead.

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