The 2014 holiday shopping season in the US will be characterised by cautious spending, according to a new report. 

PwC US’s Holiday Outlook survey of more than 2,200 respondents found that economic realities were likely to split shoppers into “survivors” and “selectionists” – both of which were likely to prove vital to retailers.

Average household spend is likely to reach US$684, down from $735 in 2013, said Steven Barr, PwC’s US retail and consumer practice leader.

“The upcoming holiday shopping season will look very similar to 2013 as shoppers remain cautious on the economy and are concerned about disposable income, the rising cost of living, and insufficient salary,” he added.

“The spending divide among shoppers is widening, creating two distinct groups that we are tracking – survivalists and selectionists – and retailers must cater to both segments.

“And with shoppers coming to expect a seamless omnichannel experience, deals to woo them into stores and having no tolerance for another season of data privacy invasion, it’s a complex retail landscape that retailers need to master – or they risk losing loyal shoppers.”