How Much Are You Spending on Gifts? JWU Faculty Experts Weigh in on Holiday Spending

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but they were just the beginning of what is projected to be a very busy holiday shopping season. College of Business faculty experts Diane McCrohan and Kristen Regine each made an appearance on local news channels to share some insight into this year’s shopping trends, deals and strategies. 

McCrohan sat down with WPRI 12 before Black Friday to discuss retail trends, estimated spending and why some retailers are nervous about this holiday season. She explained that because of how the holidays fell this year, there are only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which is the shortest shopping season in six years.


"Retailers are nervous because we lose six days — we lose one shopping weekend,” McCrohan told WPRI 12’s Susan Campbell.

The shorter window has led many retailers to begin offering discounts well before Black Friday. But, despite having less time, retailers are expecting to make more money this year than in the past. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), holiday sales will top $728 billion in November and December, a 4% increase from 2018. The NRF also reported that the average consumer plans to spend $1,048 on holiday shopping this year. 

Kristen Regine also sat down with NBC 10 to share some tips on how to "Hack the Holidays". She revealed that with online shopping being so popular (Adobe Analytics projects an estimated $143 billion in online holiday spending!), many retailers are offering free shipping deals. 

 "The biggest secret really is to be part of those email lists, because they'll send you separate coupons and special coupon codes for free shipping that you won't be able to get when you Google 'RetailMeNot'," Regine told NBC 10's Emily Volz.

She also encouraged shoppers to take advantage of in-store pickup services to avoid any shipping costs or porch pirates. But, for those who prefer their items to be delivered to their door, there are some important dates to know about:

  • Friday, Dec. 13 — the last day to ship some UPS Ground Packages
  • Saturday, Dec. 14 — Free Shipping Day; the last day for ground shipping from the US Postal Service
  • Monday, Dec. 16 — the final day for guaranteed ground delivery from FedEx

"Really know your paying points and have a budget in mind," Regine concluded.

It sounds like a simple piece of advice, but many shoppers don't realize they've overspent until it's too late. Don't be that shopper! Learn from the bills of holidays past and take the advice of JWU's Business experts. 

Happy shopping and Happy Holidays!