MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One of the biggest shopping weeks of the year kicks off today. Deloitte predicts Twin Cities shoppers will spend more this year compared to last.

Those surveyed said they’d spend about $1,382 this holiday season per household, up about $150 from last year. That’s still less than the national average of $1,500, but it shows Twin Cities shoppers are still willing to spend despite a gloomy economic forecast. More than half of those surveyed expect the economy will weaken next year.

As for the what people are shopping for, gift cards, clothing and food and liquor were predicted to take up most of our budget.

Online shopping still seems to keep growing. Shoppers estimate they’ll spend 56% of their budget online, versus one-third in stores.

Seeing the biggest growth, the share of people buying on their smart phones. Deloitte found 70% of smart phone owners will make a purchase from their device. That number has nearly doubled in the last five years.

One surprising thing the survey revealed is that, when it comes to what matters most, discounts reign supreme. After that, free shipping, which is more important to more people than fast shipping by far. BOGO deals, cash back, and free returns follow in that order of drawing shoppers in. With the shopping season cut short by six days compared to last year, retailers have to grab your attention early.

As for how many have already started shopping in Minnesota, Deloitte found those who started in October, perhaps unsurprisingly, are expected to spend way more money than those who start after Thanksgiving, by about $700.

Experience is a big buzzword in retail right now and it also applies here. The bulk of people’s budgets will go towards things like entertaining at home or travel.

Christiane Cordero

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