Seattle Culture

The Tinsel is No Longer in a Tangle

Seattle shoppers are ready to spend this holiday season

By Rob Smith November 14, 2023

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One iPad pro: $799. One 24” MacBook: $1,599.

If those are on your holiday shopping list, chances are you’ve already busted your budget. The 2023 Deloitte Seattle Holiday Retail Survey finds that the “average” holiday spend in Seattle is $2,073, up a whopping 59% from two years ago. 

That’s not all. That $2,073 is 25% higher than the national average, which has increased for the first time since the pandemic. Seattle-area shoppers also say they’re expecting higher prices but still plan to purchase nine gifts, again above the national average. 

And those figures don’t include “nongift” items such as decorations, furnishings, and holiday apparel.

Chances are you’re getting ready to shop, especially online: Seattle shoppers plan to spend 70% of their holiday budget online, and tend to spend more in  the latter half of November than those in the rest of the country. Nearly three-quarters plan to shop during Black Friday-Cyber Monday, again above the national average. The shopping season in Seattle lasts more than six weeks, compared to 5.8 weeks nationally.

Obviously, those numbers are good for retailers. As the survey notes: “For retailers, a winning strategy may come down to driving value around key promotional events for inflation-wary customers. The old retail adage of ‘having the right product, at the right price, at the right time’ may ring true more than ever this year.”

Most of my personal holiday shopping is already done. But I want to apologize to my wife and son in advance: I haven’t spent close to $2,000.

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