Holiday Toy Spending Projected to Be Down in 2013

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

NEW YORK, Nov. 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®. (Full results, with data tables, available here)

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.

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.

Q905, 910, 915, 920

The Harris Poll® #85, November 18, 2013
By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll and Public Relations, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive
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