By Maria Halkias The Dallas Morning News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As Maria Halkias reports, "A growing group of shoppers say it's acceptable to buy "vintage" clothing as a gift and wrap it, or not, if saving the environment is a concern."
Just when retailers and consumers thought they had a handle on holiday shopping, things have changed again, according to a new survey from Accenture.
Issues of sustainability and security are factoring into people's thinking, according to the study, which also said shoppers plan to spend an average of $637 on holiday purchases.
A growing group of shoppers say it's acceptable to buy "vintage" clothing as a gift and wrap it, or not, if saving the environment is a concern. Shoppers said secondhand is OK for gifts either because it's in vogue or because they've become critical of fashion waste.
Half of all shoppers said they approve of greener delivery options, such as waiting for online orders to be bundled into one box to reduce the environmental impact.
Jill Standish, senior managing director and head of Accenture's global retail practice, said the shopping scene "has entered into an era of responsible retail where consumers are becoming more environmentally and socially conscious and will increasingly turn to brands that not only talk about responsibility but demonstrate it through business practices."
Some stores are responding to millennials who are selling their used clothing on social media, said Lori Zumwinkle, Accenture's North American retail lead. ThredUP has added departments in J.C. Penney and Macy's stores.
Neiman Marcus added a luxury vintage section to its new store in New York's Hudson Yards and purchased a stake in pre-owned handbag retailer Fashionphile. Dallas-based Forty Five Ten also added vintage to its Hudson Yards store.
Young millennials, ages 21 to 27, are quickly adopting the concept of renting clothes for holiday parties. Nationally, 24% of respondents said they are likely to wear a rented outfit when partying this season.
And more shoppers plan to buy in stores vs. online due to the inspiration they get from physical stores and to avoid package theft from their doorsteps, Zumwinkle said.
"Stores still matter. Shoppers still value the store experience, with 80% in Dallas saying they plan to shop in stores," Zumwinkle said. "Retailers are doing a good job of integrating the store and online experience."
A whopping 30% of respondents in Los Angeles and San Francisco said they've had online purchases stolen from their doorsteps, but the incident rate was less in Dallas at 21% and lowest in Charlotte, N.C., with 14%. Still, more people are taking steps to prevent thefts by picking up packages in stores or scheduling deliveries when someone will be home, according to the survey.
The national results showed some caution in spending this year. The two biggest reasons cited were that they were worried about rising food bills (32%) and wanted to limit credit card debt (31%).
Fewer people said they would spend more than last year, 28% vs. 36%, and more said they would spend less, 15% vs. 11% last year. But the number of people who said they will spend about the same as last year was higher at 57% vs. 53%.
Accenture's findings are based on a national survey of 1,500 shoppers covering all age groups and separate surveys of 500 consumers each in 17 large cities. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.