Survey says Houston holiday shoppers will spend less, but shop more socially aware

A new survey finds holiday spending will be down this year, but gifts may be more socially conscientious.

Accenture's 2020 Holiday Shopping survey polled shoppers in 17 metro cities, including Houston. They found holiday shopping will look different this year.

"We are minority-owned status as an LGBT-owned business," said Jeffrey Reich-Hale about Jelvin's Candy Shoppe.

Jelvin's is an online, home-based candy company in Houston that donates 60% of its profits to charities.

"We ended up partnering with the AIDS Foundation of Houston and Barrio Dogs. Those are our two main recipients from our profits," said Reich-Hale.

Plus he says they use gloves and ziplock bags to pack their candies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Online, minority-owned, safe. Those are drivers for many of this year's holiday shoppers, according to Accenture's new survey.

In Houston, the study found spending will be down about $100, as shoppers expect to spend an average of $583, down from $681 last year.

They also found 85% of Houstonians plan to shop online, with 45% shopping only online. 57% say they'll do some shopping in stores. And early online sales, such as Amazon Prime Day in October, are why they're shopping earlier this year.

"There were a lot of sales. People are saying I'd rather not have a retailer open on Thanksgiving, forget about Black Friday, forget about Cyber Monday, let's start now," said Jill Standish, Global Retail Industry Lead for Accenture.

54% say cleanliness will determine which stores they enter. And 60% say they'll buy tangible gifts, rather than experiences, such as concert or trip tickets, that aren't available this year.

"That whole leisure experiential industry is a $100 billion industry in the U.S. alone. If that isn't an option, what else are you going to do? People do want to give each other something," said Standish.


41% of shoppers say they'll support minority-owned businesses. One in three will donate to charities.

"I think this season is going to be a lot more human than we've seen in the past. That boils down to this pandemic hitting all of us. So I think everyone is more aware, more conscious of what they're buying," said Standish.

"Honestly, that's the complete mission of this company, is to help charity," said Reich-Hale of his candy company.

The outlook was not good for restaurants in this survey. It found only 26% of Houstonians plan to eat out this holiday season.