May 25, 2007
Consumers to Spend $50 on Each Graduation Gift, According to NRF Survey

Washington—Good things will come in small packages for millions of high school and college graduates this year. According to the National Retail Federation’s inaugural Graduation survey, conducted by BIGresearch, gift cards (31.3%) and cash (58.8%) will be the most popular graduation gifts, while tangible favorites like apparel (9.1%) and electronics (11.5%) will take a backseat. In addition to gifts, many consumers also plan to give a greeting card (35.7%).

According to the survey, one-third of Americans will purchase at least one graduation gift this year. The average consumer buying graduation gifts plans to give a gift to two graduates this year and will spend about $50 ($51.05) on each present. The survey found that Americans will spend $4.5 billion on graduation gifts this year.

“For students heading off to college or moving out into the real world, cash and gift cards are the ideal graduation present,” said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. “Retailers can expect to see a nice bump in sales later this summer as students redeem gift cards and make big purchases with graduation money.”

Parents and grandparents will spend the most on graduation gifts this year, with the average American over the age of 45 spending over $110 on gifts.

About the Survey

The NRF 2007 Graduation Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted for NRF by BIGresearch, was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to graduation. The poll of 8,353 consumers was conducted from May 2 – 9, 2007.

BIGresearch is a consumer market intelligence firm that provides unique consumer insights that are gathered online utilizing very large sample sizes. BIGresearch’s syndicated Consumer Intentions and Actions survey monitors the pulse of more than 7,000 consumers each month to empower its clients with unique insights for identifying opportunities in a fragmented and changing marketplace.

The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry’s key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees – about one in five American workers – and 2006 sales of $4.7 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations.

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