Shoppers Branch Out in Christmas Tree Purchases

Fresh data from Real Christmas Tree Board reveals segments of new buyers
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Christmas trees on farm
Retailers that sell real Christmas trees can get a lift from new buyers this year, including younger and Hispanic shoppers, new resarch shows.

Grocers that sell Christmas trees are getting ready for peak demand, even before Thanksgiving wraps. New research from the Real Christmas Tree Board (RCTB) shows that shoppers are continuing to rush home with treasures that include fresh holiday trees.

According to RCTB, 83% of past buyers of real trees say that they are “worth it,” regardless of price and even in today’s wobbly economy. The market is ripe for new consumers, too, as 20% of those surveyed said they are planning to buy a real Christmas tree for the first time this year.

[Read more: “More Cheer This Year for Grocery Shoppers?”]

“All kinds of people love and put up real Christmas trees,” said Marsha Gray, executive director of the Howell, Mich.-based RCTB. “But the sweet spot is those in their family-raising and memory-making years. So, we surveyed a representative sample of about 1,500 American adults 21 to 54 to get a quantitative picture of those most likely to be introducing kiddos to their first Christmas traditions, as well as those with older children getting ready to leave home with those traditions and start the cycle over again.”  

One segment of growth comes from the Hispanic demographic. RCTB’s survey found that Hispanic consumers are more likely than others to report that they are putting up a real tree this year, and are more likely than average to say that this is their first year of making such a purchase.

Gen Z is another crop of consumers for tannenbaums. Based on their responses, Gen Z and Millennials are more likely than other age groups to be first-time buyers. 

While most customers pick out their tree at tree farms and tree lots, big box stores came in third for purchases and retail chains are a more common destination for urban consumers. Most of the survey respondents plan to buy a real tree right after Thanksgiving or the first week in December. Only 1% will buy their tree on Christmas Eve. 

Meanwhile, makers of artificial trees – also known as permanent trees – are getting ready to move a lot of products, too. Walmart, for example, is offering deals up to 50% off pre-lit, flocked, frosted and other artificial trees on its website on Black Friday.  

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