One-third of Toy Purchasers Spending Less on Toys Compared to Last Year

    New York, N.Y. – November 18, 2013 – It’s that time of year – kids are thinking of their lists and parents are dreading the toy commercials on TV and the catalogs coming into the house. But, for kids, it’s that wonderful time of the year and half of Americans (50%) say they will be purchasing toys as gifts this holiday season, likely making kids very happy. This is slightly down from the 52% of U.S. adults who said they were purchasing toys last year. Not surprisingly, being a parent to someone under 18 impacts purchase intent considerably – four in five of these parents (81%) say they plan to purchase toys, compared to 41% of those who are not parents of a child under 18.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,368 adults surveyed online between October 16 and 21, 2013 by Harris Interactive®.

    Spending on toys compared to last year

    This holiday season is hitting after a government shutdown and before the same government officials need to decide if it will happen again in January. Does this have an impact on how much people are spending on toys? While one in five Americans who will purchase toys (20%) say they will be spending more than they did last year on toys, one-third of toy purchasers (32%) will be spending less; 44% say their spending on toys will be no different than last year.

    Among toy-shopping parents, 26% say they will spend more than they did last year, 38% say their spending will be no different and one-third (33%) say they will spend less than they did last year.

    Toys to be purchased this year

    While there may be visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, kids are probably dreaming about the gifts that they hope to unwrap this holiday season. Judging by what parents will be purchasing, half of kids will be unwrapping games for consoles (51%). Two in five parents will be purchasing children’s books (43%), board games (39%) and building blocks and bricks (38%), while 37% will be buying arts and crafts supplies this year. Just over one-third of parents will be buying dolls (35%) and 32% will purchase handheld electronic games, while 29% will buy sports equipment and 27% will be buying game consoles.

    Among non-parents, the top toy purchase this year will be children’s books (39%), followed by arts and crafts products (27%) and dolls (23%).

    Where people are shopping for toys

    When it comes to making these toy purchases, shoppers have choices, but almost half (47%) will purchase from a large discount store and 33% will buy online. One in ten (11%) will buy their toys from a national toy store retail chain and 4% from a local toy store. This is a small change from last year, when 51% of toy shoppers were buying from large discount stores and 27% said they would buy their toys online.

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    TABLE 1

    HOLIDAY TOY PURCHASING

    Thinking now of this holiday season, are you planning on purchasing toys as gifts this year?

    Base: All adults

    Total

    Parents

    Yes

    No

    %

    %

    %

    WILL PURCHASE (NET)

    50

    81

    41

    Definitely will purchase

    25

    52

    16

    Probably will purchase

    26

    29

    24

    WILL NOT PURCHASE (NET)

    42

    15

    50

    Probably will not purchase

    20

    9

    24

    Definitely will not purchase

    21

    5

    26

    Not sure

    8

    4

    9

    Note: Percentages may not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 2

    HOLIDAY TOY PURCHASING – TREND

    Thinking now of this holiday season, are you planning on purchasing toys as gifts this year?

    Base: All adults

    2008

    2009

    2010

    2011

    2012

    2013

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    WILL PURCHASE (NET)

    47

    54

    53

    51

    52

    50

    Definitely will purchase

    19

    26

    24

    26

    23

    25

    Probably will purchase

    28

    28

    29

    26

    29

    26

    WILL NOT PURCHASE (NET)

    41

    36

    40

    40

    42

    42

    Probably will not purchase

    22

    18

    19

    20

    22

    20

    Definitely will not purchase

    19

    18

    21

    20

    21

    21

    Not sure

    12

    10

    7

    9

    6

    8

    Note: Percentages may not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding


    TABLE 3

    HOLIDAY TOY PURCHASING SPEND COMPARED TO LAST YEAR

    Compared to the amount you spent for toy purchases last year, will the toy purchases you make this year be…?

    Base: Will purchase toys

     

    Total

    Parents

    Household income

    Yes

    No

    $34.9k

    Or less

    $35k –

    $49.9k

    $50k –

    $74.9k

    $75k-$99.9k

    $100k+

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    MORE THAN LAST YEAR (NET)

    20

    26

    16

    27

    17

    19

    18

    18

    Much more than last year

    6

    10

    3

    11

    4

    4

    4

    5

    Somewhat more than last year

    14

    16

    13

    17

    13

    15

    15

    13

    No different than last year

    44

    38

    48

    33

    43

    41

    47

    55

    LESS THAN LAST YEAR (NET)

    32

    33

    32

    33

    34

    38

    35

    25

    Somewhat less than last year

    23

    23

    22

    18

    21

    25

    30

    21

    Much less than last year

    10

    10

    10

    15

    13

    13

    5

    4

    Did not purchase toys last year

    4

    4

    4

    7

    5

    2

    2

    Note: Percentages may not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding

     

    TABLE 4

    HOLIDAY TOY PURCHASING SPEND COMPARED TO LAST YEAR – TREND

    Compared to the amount you spent for toy purchases last year, will the toy purchases you make this year be…?

    Base: Will purchase toys

     

    2008

    2009

    2010

    2011

    2012

    2013

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    MORE THAN LAST YEAR (NET)

    16

    16

    15

    16

    23

    20

    Much more than last year

    2

    4

    5

    3

    5

    6

    Somewhat more than last year

    13

    12

    11

    13

    18

    14

    No different than last year

    36

    41

    44

    46

    43

    44

    LESS THAN LAST YEAR (NET)

    44

    39

    37

    35

    31

    32

    Somewhat less than last year

    26

    25

    25

    27

    23

    23

    Much less than last year

    18

    14

    12

    9

    8

    10

    Did not purchase toys last year

    4

    3

    3

    3

    2

    4

    Note: Percentages may not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding


    TABLE 5

    TYPES OF TOYS TO BE PURCHASED THIS YEAR

    What types of toys will you purchase this year?

    Base: Will purchase toys

     

    Total

    Parents

    Yes

    No

    %

    %

    %

    Children’s books

    41

    43

    39

    Games for consoles

    32

    51

    21

    Arts and crafts

    31

    37

    27

    Dolls

    27

    35

    23

    Board games

    27

    39

    20

    Building blocks and bricks

    26

    38

    18

    Sports equipment

    22

    29

    18

    Handheld electronic games

    19

    32

    12

    Game consoles

    16

    27

    8

    Something else

    32

    34

    31

    Not sure

    18

    8

    25

    Note: Multiple Responses Allowed

     

    TABLE 6

    WHERE TOYS WILL BE PURCHASED THIS YEAR

    Where will you shop the most for toys?

    Base: Will purchase toys

     

    Total 2012

    Total 2013

    Parents

    Gender

    Yes

    No

    Men

    Women

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Large discount store (such as Walmart or K-Mart)

    51

    47

    48

    47

    40

    54

    Online

    27

    33

    35

    32

    35

    31

    National toy store retail chain

    13

    11

    10

    11

    14

    8

    Local, privately owned specialty toy store

    4

    4

    4

    5

    6

    2

    Other location

    5

    5

    3

    6

    5

    4

    Note: Multiple Responses Allowed

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between October 16 to 21, 2013 among 2,368 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

    All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

    Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

    These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

    The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

    J43567

    Q905, 910, 915, 920

    The Harris Poll® #85, November 18, 2013

    By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll and Public Relations, Harris Interactive

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