Retail Federation finds grad gifts will get small boost

May 22, 2013 8:54:08 PM PDT
Graduation season is here and there are a lot of eager young people taking a big new step in their lives. 7 On Your Side has some tips on what grads are getting this year.

The economy is on the rise, but gifts for grads are down a bit this year. A recent survey has some surprising facts.

Sara Simpson graduated from the University of Arkansas last week. Her parents' graduation gift was a trip to San Francisco, but from most people she got money.

"It's the most useful because you can buy the things you want and need instead of getting something you may not necessarily want or ever use," said Simpson.

The National Retail Federation just released their survey on graduation gift trends.

"This year slightly more people will give cash, about 57 percent, and that's up slightly from about 55-56 percent last year," said Kathy Grannis, the spokesperson for the National Retail Federation. She thinks the economy has something to do with that. She said, "Cash is seen as one of the most practical gift ideas, especially for someone who is just starting their life in the real world."

Their survey found that the amount people plan to give this year versus last year has gone down a little.

"Last year it was about $51 and this year it's about $49 per graduate," said Grannis.

Although the amount per gift might be down, some grads might actually get more gifts because of the prevalence of social media.

Kit Yarrow, Ph.D., is a retail psychology professor at Golden Gate University. She said, "I think we feel more connected to a wider variety of people from things like Facebook and that means that all those people are now potential gift givers to your kid if they're graduating from high school or college."

Ryn Noey of San Francisco says she is giving more gifts because of her connections to distant relatives on social media.

"I think that I'm probably giving more and I'm probably giving a higher amount because I'm more in touch with them, I know what's going on in their lives, I feel more connected to them," said Noey.

The Retail Federation survey also found that on average most people are giving two people gifts this season.


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