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And they're off! Consumers already shopping for holiday

Retail Editor 4, Andrea Lillo -- Home Textiles Today, November 12, 2013

Washington - More than half of U.S. consumers have already begun their holiday shopping, according to the National Retail Federation.

Nearly 54% are on the hunt for gifts, with 46.2% still hanging back - the smallest percentage in the history of the survey, which was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

"Shopping early has become a very real trend with consumers today as they look for ways to spread out their budget, and retailers have answered their call with attractive holiday offerings as early as October," said NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay.
The top shopping categories are apparel and related accessories (60.7%), gift cards (59.2%), toys (44.3%), electronics (33.0%), jewelry (23.3%) and sporting goods and leisure items (19.0%).
Most consumers aren't planning to rack up debt for holiday, with 43.7% saying they will pay with debit cards, 25.4% relying on cash and 2.4% paying by a check. Just 28.5% said they will charge their gifts.

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