Millennials expected to splurge on themselves this Christmas


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Millennials are expected to account for most of the anticipated growth in Christmas spending this year, with 47 percent saying they’ll spend more than last year, according to a survey from PricewaterhouseCooper.

Compared with their elders, millennials are selfish shoppers. The PwC study found millennials spend double the proportion of their holiday budget on themselves compared with older shoppers.

Not only are they expected to spend more; millennials are also spending lavishly. They’ll spend more on travel and entertainment and are expected to comprise 57 percent of luxury shoppers, even though they make up just a third of the total adult population.

They’re also leading the shift to online shopping and are more likely to pay for next-day shipping, even though they account for half of all adults.

The trend doesn’t necessarily mean millennials have — suddenly, in under a year — become self-seeking materialists, however.

James Russo, head of global insights for Nielsen, attributes the increase to the millennials establishing themselves: Their salaries are increasing faster and they’re having children of their own.

"They're entering into a different life stage," Russo told CNBC. "That's a big component of the holiday season."

The trends might also reflect millennials’ positive attitude toward the season. PwC’s study found millennials were more likely to enjoy Christmas shopping, and, according to the Miami Herald, they aren’t bothered by the Christmas creep as older consumers are.

CNBC reported earlier this month that traditional retail is expected to struggle this Christmas season as shoppers lean toward online shopping. Steve Odland, president of the Committee for Economic Development, said retailers need to prepare themselves for a "market share scramble."

With the online market expanding, Amazon is expected to hire 25 percent more new employees than it did for the 2014 Christmas season, The Detroit News reported. In some cases, this Christmas season is expected to test the limits of online stores to manage the demand, according to The Dallas Morning News, as online sales have grown more than 10 percent each year since 2009.

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