The stores’ circulars are out and the commercials have definitely started. It’s the time of year when kids start their holiday gift lists and are sometimes more interested in the commercials rather than the television shows themselves.
And, those who purchase gifts for kids are listening. Half of Americans (51%) say they will be purchasing toys as gifts this holiday season, while two in five (40%) will not and one in ten (9%) are not sure.
As one might expect, whether there is a child in the household does impact purchase intent – three-quarters of those with a child in the household (72%) say they plan to purchase toys compared to 42% of those without a child in the household.
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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,463 U.S. adults surveyed online between October 10 and 17, 2011 by Harris Interactive. Results were announced today, Nov. 16.
Toy manufacturers should expect slightly less in terms of sales when compared to the last two years. In 2009 and 2010 over half of Americans (54% and 53% respectively) said they were planning to purchase toys as gifts, so this year is just slight decline.
In terms of how much people will spend, the economy is still taking its toll on holiday spending. While more than two in five toy purchasers (46%) say their spending will be no different than last year, over one-third (35%) say they will spend less than they did last year while 16% say they will spend more than they did last year.
Among those toy purchasers with a child in the household 16% say they will spend more than they did last year, over two in five (43%) say their spend will be no different and two in five (39%) say they will spend less than they did last year.
When it comes to the toys children will be unwrapping this holiday season, it seems books, video games and arts and crafts projects will top the list. Over two in five toy purchasers (45%) say they will purchase children’s books, while one-third will buy games for consoles (33%) and three in ten will buy arts and crafts (29%).
One-quarter (25%) will purchase board games and dolls (25%) as gifts. Just over one in five will purchase building blocks and bricks (23%), one in five will purchase handheld electronic games (20%) and sports equipment (19 %) while 7% will purchase game consoles.
One-quarter will purchase something else in terms of toys for kids (25%) and one in five is just not sure (20%).
For those with a 0-2 year old in the household, children’s books clearly top the list (69%), followed by dolls (52%) and building blocks and bricks (51%). For those with a 3-5 year old in the household, children’s books are tops (62%), then arts and crafts (44%) and dolls (41%) while for those with a 6-9 year old, it’s still children’s books on top (59%), then games for consoles (52%) and board games (45%).
Looking at those with a tween (ages 10-12) in the household, they are purchasing games for consoles (67%), then children’s books (43%) and board games (41%) while those with a teen (13-17) are buying games for consoles (62%), sports equipment (37%) and children’s books (34%).
In terms of where these toy dollars will be spent, over half of toy purchasers will be mostly shopping for toys at large discount stores (56%), while over one-quarter (27%) will mostly shop online for toys this year.
One in ten (10%) will mostly shop at a national toy retail chain store while 4% will shop at a local, privately owned specialty toy store. Women are more likely to shop mostly at a large discount store for toys (61% vs. 50% of men) while men are more likely to shop for toys at a national toy store retail chain (14% vs. 6% of women).
Harris Interactive is a leading custom market research firm.