Earlier this year, American Express reported that consumers were feeling better about the economy and would start buying more non-essential items. As  TVStorewe approach the holiday season, an update on that prediction shows that the optimism is holding. At least 51% of consumers expect to make a major purchase between now and the end of the year.

Last year, only 43% of consumers planned to spend $1,000 or more on a big-ticket item at this time. In 2013, here are the types of items consumers will be shopping for:

  • Home upgrades 41%
  • New TVs 25%
  • Home appliances or furniture 20%
  • New or used cars 19%
  • Travel 13%

Shoppers are purchasing more apparel, accessories and jewelry this year than originally planned. The same holds true with respect to dining out. About 20% are eating out more at restaurants this year while only 19% originally intended to do so.

At the same time, consumers are showing fiscal prudence in their day-to-day lives. The typical surveyed adult started the year planning to save $10, 893. On average, these folks have managed to set aside $9,444, meeting 87% of their goal. How are they doing this? Over half are using some form of formal savings like payroll deduction. Others are cutting back on nonessentials. About 25% are not purchasing lattes or manicures as frequently as before. And 17% are generating more income by selling their possessions.

Consumers are also looking for discounts in email coupons (25%), deal sites (12%) and coupon aggregators. In an indication that more purchases are being planned, only 6% of shoppers say they’re visiting flash sale sites.

At least 51% of shoppers will visit department stores this fall. Discount stores will attract 37%, retail chains could capture 24% and boutiques can count on 9% of shoppers. These plans should be prompting retailers to roll out their holiday ad campaigns in a big way.

To learn more about consumers who plan to purchase big-ticket items such as a high-definition TV, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad-ology.com.