Retailers' Favorite Trend: Self-Gifting

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

As it turns out, the retail rush doesn't quite end on Christmas Eve. One of the big new trends in shopping around the (thankfully) just-ended holiday season is self-gifting. With all of the love and sharing we lend out to family and friends for a month, we feel the need to pat ourselves on the back. Perhaps more than anyone else, retailers absolutely love this growing idea of buying yourself something. It gives them an extra little boost right after the holiday shopping season, when things slow down in a big way.

I deserve it
Once all the gifts are out of the way and the Presents Fund has been spent down accordingly, more and more Americans take the leftover cash (if any) and reward themselves.

It's a good time to pick up a little something, as many retailers try to push out year-end merchandise at deep discounts. More and more of them are starting to target self-gifters.

For retailers such as Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), Macy's (NYSE: M), and even high-end Tiffany & Co (NYSE: TIF), the phenomenon is particularly attractive as people tend to bend the rules when it comes to buying themselves things. For your sister, that $50 limit may be an impermeable barrier to upselling, but you are the easiest person to convince that you deserve just a little bit more.

In early December, Best Buy had an ad for a Samsung Galaxy S4 for only $49.99. The tag line read, "a gift for yourself!" Tiffany did something similar for a pair of diamond earrings, telling the shoppers, "of course, a gift for yourself is well deserved this year." According to a recent New York Times article, Macy's e-store prominently displayed anti-wrinkle cream as the "gift of the day." The product likely wouldn't go over well as a gift for another person. 

Shoppers may see (Nasdaq: AMZN) offering attractive deals  on a vacuum cleaner, while Best Buy is pushing a big screen TV. These are items that you probably wouldn't have bought during the gift-giving season, but now make sense as a selfie thank-you. It's an easy mark for the growth-hungry retailers.

Fueling the post-holiday rush as well is the abundance  of gift cards in circulation coming back to the stores for redemption. Some gift card recipients use the cards as a discount for larger purchases—giving the retailers an extra charge on the end.

1-click (mobile) order
These trends are another feather in the cap of e-commerce. After slugging through the mall and battling over-aggressive moms in the aisles, taking a field trip to the stores in the days following Christmas is the last thing people want to do. They are much more likely to take it easy for a few days—surf the Internet, watch some television, and enjoy the fruits of their labors.

According to the National Retail Federation, 57 % of holiday shoppers buy themselves a gift (the number was actually down  2% from last year, but nevertheless substantial), spending on average about $130.

Many of these purchases are not only taking place online (up 13% from a year-ago), but on the phone. The National Retail Federation noted that  50% of e-commerce transactions came from a mobile device, which is unlike any other data received in the past.

So while gift-giving at large isn't growing much—Mastercard released a report showing  just 2.3% growth—people are spending more. It's just on themselves, and on their mobile devices.

The next step
Want to figure out how to profit on business analysis like this? The key is to learn how to turn business insights into portfolio gold by taking your first steps as an investor. Those who wait on the sidelines are missing out on huge gains and putting their financial futures in jeopardy. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal-finance experts show you what you need to get started, and even gives you access to some stocks to buy first. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2782597, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/30/2015 2:20:24 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Michael Lewis

Michael is a value-oriented investment analyst with a specific interest in retail and media businesses. Before coming to the Fool, Michael worked with private investment funds focusing on deep value and special situations. Currently living in the media capital of the world--Los Angeles, California.

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 1.21 0.06%
NASD 4,828.33 15.62 0.32%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/28/2015 4:00 PM
AMZN $518.01 Down -0.36 -0.07% CAPS Rating: ***
BBY $35.97 Up +0.17 +0.47%
Best Buy CAPS Rating: *
M $59.00 Down -0.05 -0.08%
Macy's, Inc. CAPS Rating: **
TIF $83.61 Up +0.32 +0.38%
Tiffany & Co. CAPS Rating: ***