Some holiday shoppers are in it for themselves

Chicago Tribune /

Published Nov 23, 2012 at 04:00AM

CHICAGO — It looks like on this Black Friday, some consumers are putting themselves at the top of their holiday shopping lists.

More consumers will be filling their shopping carts with items for themselves as they hit the stores this holiday season, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.

Just less than 60 percent of shoppers will spend about $140 on so-called “non-gift items” — merchandise they will not put under the tree or mail out for Hanukkah — but instead use immediately for themselves, their children or their spouses.

Self-gifting is “bigger than ever this year,” climbing 15 percent from 2004, when just more than 51 percent of consumers shopped for themselves, according to National Retail Federation spokeswoman Kathy Grannis. “I have no doubt that we will see people treat themselves because prices are so low,” she said.

Consumers are finding it difficult to pass up this year’s super-discounts, Grannis added. “There’s likely a few people who have refrained from buying things all year long because they knew the holiday season would be full of discounts,” she said.

Southerners will do the most self-gifting this year, with 61 percent of shoppers below the Mason-Dixon Line buying non-gift items for themselves and their households this holiday season. Midwesterners trail the pack with 57 percent planning to self-gift, compared to 59 percent of residents of Northeastern states and 58 percent of Western staters.