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‘Tis The Season To Shop For Yourself, Experts Say

Holiday shoppers pack the aisles. (credit: Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

Holiday shoppers pack the aisles. (credit: Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Macy’s on State Street is wasting no time on its annual holiday window displays.

This year’s theme is “The Wish Factory.”

Meanwhile, the theme for many shoppers this year could be: Me, me, me.

The National Retail Federation says merchants should expect consumers to shop a little different this year. That’s because consumers like Kathy Kuntz will spend more money on themselves.

“I deserve it,” she tells CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker.

The trend of self-indulgence increased 16 percent from last year, when the average consumer spent $112.20 on themselves. This year, they’re expected to spend $130.43.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Mary Ann McGrath, associate dean and marketing professor at Loyola University School of Business, says. “I think people have been holding back. I think there’s been a lot of deferred gratification in the economy.”

McGrath says the sluggish economy kept shoppers out of the stores, so they’ll be ready to take advantage of the traditional Christmas discounts. 

Jewelry, clothing, electronics, household goods are among the gifts consumers will give to themselves or their immediate family. For shoppers like Kim Delaney, it’s about a better bottom line.

“I’m spending more because I’m in real estate and my real estate has been a good year.”

She says she’ll be buying “luxury items that I couldn’t do last year.”

If consumers are spending mor money on themselves, it means they’ll spend less on others.

Overall, spending is expected to be down 2 percent, from about $719 last year to $714 this year.

But, as usual, most of that money will be spent on our children.