GMDC Unwraps Holiday Retail Trends

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Based on consumer spending reports from the National Retail Federation, products in the General Merchandise category, including gift cards, clothing, books and media are the items that top most consumers’ wish lists this holiday season. Sales are expected to increase by 3.4 percent with online shopping becoming the most popular consumer experience for the first time in survey history.

Global Market Development Center (GMDC), a leading General Merchandise and Health Beauty Wellness trade association, is pleased to unwrap NRF’s top holiday retail trends.

NRF’s annual consumer spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics predicts consumers plan to spend an average of $967 during the 2017 holiday season compared to last year’s reported spending of $936. The figure includes food, flowers, decorations, gifts for others and greeting cards.

“With employment and incomes increasing, consumers are more confident this year and that is reflected in their buying plans for the holidays,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Retailers have been stocking up in expectation of this, and all signs are that this will be a busy holiday season. Retailers are preparing for a rush of consumers leading into Thanksgiving and all through December, and are offering a wide array of merchandise and promotions so shoppers can find great gifts and great deals at the same time.”

NRF anticipates shoppers will jump online and flock to department stores. In fact, online shopping is at its highest rate ever this year – 59 percent, up from 57 percent last year. The survey also found that 57 percent will shop at a department store, 54 percent at a discount store, 46 percent at a grocery store/supermarket and 35 percent at clothing or accessories store. The survey found 27 percent plan to visit an electronics store, 25 percent a small or local business, and 18 percent will go to a crafts or fabrics store.

According to NRF, shoppers say these are at the top of their wish lists this season:


  1. Gift cards/gift certificates – 61 percent
  2. Clothing or clothing accessories – 55 percent – the highest level in 14 years
  3. Books, music or movies – 40 percent
  4. Consumer electronics or computer-related accessories – 33 percent – GMDC research suggests wrist-worn wearables, such as the Fitbit and Apple Watch, are fueling this trend,  Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are closely following wearables in popularity, according to GMDC. Also, advanced voice devices, such as Amazon’s Echo (Alexa), Google Home and Apple’s Siri are popular. 
  5. Home décor and furnishings – 24 percent


Retailers can capitalize on these trends and others with smart, innovative products and merchandising, according to the GMDC.

“This holiday season is an important one, given the disruptive and rapidly evolving marketplace,” said Mark Mechelse, director of research, industry insights and communications at GMDC. ”As the online versus offline battle continues, brick and mortar retailers have a unique opportunity to embrace change. Those that differentiate themselves and leverage technology to transform the way consumers shop can deliver enhanced experiences inside the store. Advancing a new mix of offerings through click-and-collect and home delivery, and curating an assortment of products to reflect localization strategies, retailers can satisfy even the savviest shopper’s wish list. ”

About GMDC 

Global Market Development Center (GMDC) energizes members and the marketplace by advancing a culture of Connect-Collaborate-Create-Commerce. As the leading GM and HBW trade association, GMDC is dedicated to serving its ecosystem of more than 600 General Merchandise and Health Beauty Wellness retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and service/solution member companies by enabling consumer-facing innovation and retail reimagined. GMDC’s combined member volume represents more than 125,000 retail outlets and more than $500 billion in sales. To learn more, visit

About NRF
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. To learn more, visit



Media Contacts:
Todd Smith, Deane | Smith                                                               Mark Mechelse, GMDC
President, CEO                                                                                 Director of Insights & Communications                                                    


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

CONTACT: Todd Smith
Global Market Development Center (GMDC)

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