'Hipster' millennials expected to boost holiday sales, here's how much they'll spend

Millennials are expected to splash out this holiday season – what's making them so confident about their spending?
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With Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching, the nation's millennial generation is gearing up for an expensive couple of months if consumer estimates are anything to go by.

A survey by the Rubicon Project has found that 18-34 year olds are expected to spend $1,427 on average over the holiday period, significantly more than the $1,098 the rest of American consumers are expected to spend.

There's bad news for store owners, as more than a quarter of millennials (28 percent) plan to do all of their shopping online. The Rubicon poll also find the growing trend for mobile shopping, with 58 percent making at least some of their purchases through their smartphones.

Here's part of an infographic released by Rubicon that also shows where millennials will focus their spending.

The rise of the apparently "hipster" millennial shopper was identified in a PwC report last month, which did its own poll that revealed shoppers will spend 10 percent more on the holiday season this year, averaging around $1,121.

But some younger people will spend significantly more, with the report saying: "hipsters – upwardly mobile, college-educated millennials in enclaves such as Austin, Brooklyn, Oakland, and Portland – will spend $500 more this season than consumers overall."

Of the money they spend, the report found, around a third of it will be on themselves.

According to The Street, this increased spending from younger shoppers is expected to help holiday sales reach $655.8 billion, a rise of 3.6 percent on last year.

Why are millennials spending so much?

The Atlantic reports the average 29-year-old earns around $35,000, so spending upward of $1,500 on the holidays is a significant outlay for young consumers.

Kelton Global took a closer look at what is motivating young people to spend so much, and concluded that it's a mixture of enjoying the festivities and an optimistic outlook.

"Multiple studies confirm that millennials are less worried about the future than their older counterparts. Our study echoed this confidence about the future," Kelton said, finding millennials were more hopeful across a whole range of issues.

"A positive outlook on the future also connects to their larger, more flexible budgets during [the holidays]."

Millennials are also more likely to self-gift than Generation Xers or baby boomers, showing little reluctance to treat themselves.

And perhaps surprisingly, millennials also enjoy shopping during the holidays, "or at least, they don’t hate it as much as their parents," Kelton says.

"Almost 60 percent of the millennials we surveyed said they love holiday shopping, and only 8 percent told us that they hate hitting the mall when the halls are decked," Kelton adds.

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