It’s that generous time of year, when people get a warm, fuzzy feeling from buying gifts for their loved ones.
Or for themselves.
The practice of “self-gifting" is on the rise as retailers offer deep discounts in the days leading up to Christmas, reports the National Retail Federation.
Six in 10 Americans, or 59 percent, say they will take advantage of discounts over the holidays to buy nongift items, according to the retail group’s 2012 holiday spending survey. And those are only the ones who admit to it, said retail federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis.
These shoppers plan to spend an average of $140 on themselves during the holidays, the most in the decade since shoppers have been surveyed about the trend.
In 2004, the average amount shoppers spent on non-gift items during the holidays was $89.
“Everything is such a bargain out there, I can’t resist," said Sacramento, Calif., resident Patty Dill, who was shopping at Sacramento’s Arden Fair mall.
Dill said she feels a slight pang of guilt when she fills her shopping bag with goodies for herself, but added, “I can live through the guilt."
Retailers know all about self-gifting. In recent years, they’ve targeted such shoppers by shifting markdowns more to the days before Christmas, rather than focusing on post-holiday sales.
Black Friday is a prime example. Over Thanksgiving weekend, 8 in 10 holiday bargain-hunters surveyed by the retail federation said they planned to scoop up online and in-store deals for nongift uses.
Gift-giving in general seems to be on the upswing after several shaky economic years held consumers in check, Grannis said. That’s good news for retailers, since some capture up to 40 percent of their business in the holiday season.